The “national security” proposal that China is trying to impose on Hong Kong is one of the worst attacks on the territory’s autonomy, pro-democracy activists thundered on Friday.
The Hong Kongs are again on the street. Democratic protesters condemn proposed security laws to ban “treason, isolation, sedition” [et]It was presented on Friday, May 22, at the inauguration of the annual meeting of the National Assembly (PNA), the Chinese Parliament.
This text comes after repeated warnings from the Chinese Communist government against every dissent in Hong Kong, which was shaken last year by seven-month monster demonstrations in favor of democracy.
Hong Kong people “face a choice about their future”
Very quickly, on discussion forums and on messages used by the pro-democracy movement, the calls for demonstration were multiplied. “The people of Hong Kong will have to face a choice about their future,” said a message in which the Telegram app, Hong Kongers, will meet on Sunday.
For activist Joshua Wong, a figure in the umbrella movement in 2014, the message China sent to pro-democracy protesters leaves no room for doubt. “Beijing is trying to silence the voices of critical Hong Kongers with vigor and fear,” Wong said on Twitter.
For activists, if this bill is approved, it would be one of the most serious violations of Hong Kong’s freedoms since the surrender in 1997.
“It’s the end of Hong Kong”
“It’s the end of Hong Kong, the end [du principe]”One country, two systems,” make no mistake about it, “pro-democracy deputy Dennis Kwok told the press.
Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 under an agreement that guaranteed the territory for fifty years of unknown autonomy and freedoms in the rest of the country, according to the “One country, two systems” principle.
The announcement from Beijing was able to revive anger from Hong Kong after months of calm, in part because of the measures taken to counter the coronavirus epidemic.
According to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy MP Tanya Chan, Beijing shows “no respect for Hong Kong’s people”. “Many Hong Kongers must be as angry as we are now, but we must remember not to give up,” she said.
Get details on the bill
When the bill was announced on Thursday evening, few details were released, just the fact that it would strengthen “enforcement mechanisms” for “protecting national security”.
Article 23 of the “Constitution”, which has served as a constitution for the semi-autonomous territory for two decades, provides that the region adopts a law prohibiting “treason, isolation, sedition” [et]subversion “.
But it has never been applied; a large part of Hong Kong’s population sees it as a threat to their freedoms.
The attempt to implement an anti-subversion law at the local level in 2003 had failed following monster demonstrations of nearly 7.5 million inhabitants of this territory.
According to Joshua Wong and other activists, Beijing’s decision to have the text adopted by the Chinese parliament is a way of circumventing the parliament in Hong Kong.
Risk of “destabilization”
US diplomacy spokesman Morgan Ortagus warned of the risk of “destabilization” that this text might generate. US President Donald Trump has promised to respond “if necessary” very strongly.
On Thursday, US senators introduced a bill to impose sanctions on all entities that would restrict territorial independence.
Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong before his surrender in 1997, said this proposal was a “huge attack on the city’s autonomy […]extremely harmful. “