China imposes controversial national security law in Hong Kong

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In August 2019, pro-democracy activists hold hands on a street in Hong Kong.

At a rush, China adopted its controversial national security law in Hong Kong on Tuesday June 30. The Parliament voted unanimously in Beijing on this text which raises fears of a repression of any political opposition in the former British colony.

Chinese President Xi Jinping subsequently promulgated the law, which will be incorporated into the Basic Law, which has served as a mini-constitution in Hong Kong since 1997, the new China news agency said. It will take effect on Tuesday, said Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam.

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This law, which intends to repress the “Separatism”, the “Terrorism”, the « subversion » and the “Collusion with external and foreign forces”, aims to bring stability to Hong Kong, following monster protests against central power in 2019. Opponents fear that it will serve to muzzle all dissent and to bury the semi-autonomy and freedoms enjoyed by the inhabitants.

The Chinese authorities say that it will only concern a minority of people, in particular those who militate for the independence of the territory. “For members of the small minority who threaten national security, this law will be a sword hanging over their heads”, Hong Kong and Macao affairs office said in a statement.

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It is difficult at this time to know the real consequences of this text, its precise content remaining secret until now. Developed in just six weeks, it bypasses the Local Legislative Council.

Dissolution du parti Demosisto

A few hours after the law was passed by the Chinese parliament, the Hong Kong political party Demosisto, founded by pro-democracy activists, announced its dissolution on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier, Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Jeffrey Ngo and Agnes Chow had explained that they were leaving this political party hated by Beijing and which militates in particular for a true universal suffrage in the ex-British colony. The four leaders of the movement, however, affirmed that they would continue to militate as individuals, which suggests that they wanted to protect Demosisto from any prosecution with the entry into force of this security law. “I will continue to defend my house, Hong Kong, until they silence me and eliminate me from this land”, Joshua Wong, a famous activist in the pro-democracy movement, wrote on Facebook.

For the pro-democracy opposition of Hong Kong and for several western countries including the United States, for the G7 or the European Union (EU), this law is an attack on the autonomy and freedoms of the territory. Washington thus initiated on Monday the withdrawal of trade privileges enjoyed by Hong Kong in response to the security bill prepared in China.

UK ‘concerned’

“We are obviously very concerned about the decision to adopt this law”Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters, promising to examine “Very carefully” the content of it, “To see if it conflicts with the joint declaration between the United Kingdom and China”. The United Kingdom returned Hong Kong to China in 1997. Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in a press release “Serious step”, “Deeply disturbing”. “We urge China to reverse its decision”, he told parliament, promising deputies another statement once the exact content of the law is published.

Pro-Chinese demonstration after the law was passed on June 30 in Hong Kong.

“This law risks seriously undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and having a detrimental effect on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law”, said the president of the European Council, Charles Michel. Beijing risks “Suffer very negative consequences, in particular on business confidence, the reputation of China and the perception of public opinion in Hong Kong and internationally”, said the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

Speaking at the opening of the 44e United Nations Human Rights Council session, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam urged Tuesday “The international community to respect the right of our country to guarantee national security and the aspirations for stability and harmony of the people of Hong Kong”.

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Beijing has repeatedly accused western countries of fueling the territory with fire by supporting the protesters. A “National security organ”, reporting directly to the Chinese regime, should also be instituted in Hong Kong, according to new China. He would be responsible for collecting information and prosecuting attacks on national security.

The idea of ​​entrusting a body of communist power with prerogatives in the autonomous territory greatly worries the local opposition. Because the separation of powers does not exist in mainland China, led by the CCP. Since its handover, Hong Kong has enjoyed broad autonomy, in accordance with the principle “One country, two systems”. Hong Kong people thus enjoy freedom of expression, freedom of the press and independent justice.

The World with AFP


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