Hong Kong: China passes 'comprehensive and undefined' national security law

Hong Kong: China passes 'comprehensive and undefined' national security law

China has passed a controversial new national security law that would increase its powers and police presence in Hong Kong.

According to local media, the Chinese parliament's Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday unanimously passed legislation that marks the biggest change in Hong Kong's autonomy status since the UK's return to the city.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that it would not be appropriate to comment on the news at the Standing Committee meeting, but that "I and my bosses will do their best to answer everyone's questions once the law is passed."

Full details of the new law were expected to be announced in the Chinese state media later in the day, but the draft document said it would ban vandalism and separatist activities, and Beijing is ready to set up a national security office in Hong Kong for the first time. .

Prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong told reporters that the new law is "comprehensive" and "misinterpreted", and that its passage "represents the end of Hong Kong known to the world".

Should Britain oppose Hong Kong?

He and two other top-level activists, Nathan Law, and Agnes Chow, have told Democrats, a pro-democracy group, that they will quit their roles. Wong previously told The Independent that the new law would “kill future democratic movements” in the city.

Other opposition figures condemned the law. "We will never accept the passage of the law, even if it is too much," said Democratic Party President Wu Chi-wai.

A Reuters poll this month found that the majority in Hong Kong oppose national security legislation, and that the decline in support for the wider protest movement is only marginal.

The legislation appears to extend beyond the date recognized by the July 1, 1997 anniversary of the city's anniversary and exhibitions in recent years.

In a demonstration last year amid massive pro-democracy protests that began almost a month ago, a gang robbed and demolished the city's legislative council building.

Hong Kong officials on Wednesday called for a preliminary examination of how the new law will be implemented as opposition politicians say they will ignore the police refusal to grant permission for the rally. Until then, it is not immediately clear if the law will be enforced and whether participation in informal protests will now become a national security offense.

Several countries have expressed concern over China's recent move to Hong Kong, including the US and former colonial power Britain.

On Tuesday, Japan said the new law had "repentance" and undermined the credibility of the "one country, two systems" doctrine, allowing people in Hong Kong and Macau to enjoy the freedom enjoyed by citizens on the mainland.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters that the international community and the Hong Kong people share a "deep concern" about the law.

Earlier this month, Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominique Rabb called for a withdrawal from the passage of the new law, with Beijing reporting progress in Beijing, with particular concern over the "possibility" of a provision that would require Hong Kong to pursue national security education. Among its people ”.

“There is an increased likelihood of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes, which undermines the commitments to protect the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people,” he said.

He defended Britain's right as a party to comment on such matters as returning Hong Kong to China, saying that Beijing would have to hold that other countries "clearly violate China's international obligations."

They have repeated the UK citizenship offers of approximately 3 million of Hong Kong's 7.5 million population who qualify under the terms of the 1997 Joint Declaration.

Prior to the announcement, the US government said Monday that it would stop exports to Hong Kong and would soon require licenses to sell goods to Hong Kong for civilian and military purposes.

The Trump administration has for weeks warned that if the law is passed, measures will be taken to end Hong Kong's special status to trade and trade priorities.

"The United States needs to take this step to protect US national security," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

"We can no longer seize controlled goods exported to Hong Kong or mainland China. These goods cannot be taken into the hands of the People's Liberation Army, whose main purpose is to dictate the dictatorship of the [ruling Communist Party]. It must be retained by any means."

China has condemned such acts as interfering with its internal affairs. On Monday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhao Lijian said Beijing had decided to retaliate on visa restrictions on "American personnel who are poor at dealing with issues related to Hong Kong."

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