Beijing adopts controversial national security legislation

The Chinese parliament on Tuesday adopted the Hong Kong national bill, which has been criticized by Western powers. This text bypasses the local legislative council and causes the Hong Kong opposition to fear an unprecedented reduction in freedoms since the surrender of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

New step for dropping Hong Kong. The Chinese Parliament adopted the national security proposal on Tuesday, June 30. This vote comes a year after the monster demonstrations that agitated the former British colony against the influence of the central government.

“National security legislation in Hong Kong has been officially adopted,” DAB, the most important party in Beijing in Hong Kong, said in a statement on Tuesday. Several local media such as RTHK TV and the daily South China Morning Post also confirmed the information, citing sources close to the case.

Hong Kong: “National Security Legislation Can End Protest Movement”

Detected by these events, Beijing will have introduced this law in a few weeks bypassing the Local Legislative Council, causing the Hong Kong opposition to fear an unprecedented reduction in freedoms since the surrender of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

Law would crack down on “terrorism” and “separatism”

Difficult at the moment to know the real implications of the text: its exact content has remained secret until now. The law provides for a sentence of up to life imprisonment, the editor of Global Times, a Chinese Communist Party (CCP), said on Twitter, quoting people who have consulted the text. Hu Xijin.

However, the official China New News Agency had outlined in June, affirming that the law intends to suppress “separatism”, “terrorism”, “subversion” and “cooperation with external and foreign forces”.

The vote is expected to increase tensions between China and several Western powers, including the United States and the United Kingdom, which have said they view the bill as a threat to the autonomy enjoyed by Hong Kong since its surrender to China. .

For the central government, this law is about ensuring stability, putting an end to the vandalism that has punctured the city’s 2019 demonstrations with 7.5 million residents, and to suppress the current pro-independence.

For the democratic opposition in Hong Kong and for several Western countries including the United States, this law constitutes an attack on the independence and freedom of the territory.

A “national security body” reporting to the central government should also be set up in Hong Kong – a first. In particular, it will be responsible for collecting information.

The idea of ​​entrusting the powers of a Chinese power in autonomous territory is of great concern to the local opposition. Since the distribution of power does not take place on the Chinese mainland under the leadership of the CCP.

“End of Hong Kong”

“It marks the end of Hong Kong that the world used to know. With broad powers and a loose law, the city will become a # secret police state,” tweeted Joshua Wong, a leading figure in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. .

Since the surrender, the territory has enjoyed great autonomy from China, according to the principle “One country, two systems”. Thus, people in Hong Kong enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of the press, independent justice and the capitalist system.

But the region is run by a local government whose members are systematically subordinate to Beijing, under the terms of a selection process dismissing opposition figures.

Hong Kong’s top executive Carrie Lam refused at her weekly press conference on Tuesday to confirm the law, which she supported.

Serious EU concern

In recent weeks, Western governments have expressed concern over the city’s international status, one of the world’s largest financial centers.

The European Union (EU) had expressed its “grave concern”. G7 (Germany, Canada, USA, France, Italy, Japan and UK) also called for a return to this project.

In anticipation of the vote and opposed Beijing in the Hong Kong file, Washington on Monday announced the end of the sale of sensitive defense equipment to Hong Kong to avoid “falling into the hands” of the Chinese army.

The United States on Friday issued visa restrictions for Chinese officials accused of “questioning” the independence of the territory. China responded on Monday with a similar move that focused on “behaving” American citizens by criticizing the law.

What reaction will Hong Kongers now make, now that the law has been passed?

Scale protests seem difficult to organize at first glance: Hong Kong authorities always prohibit gatherings of more than 50 people because of the Covid-19 epidemic.

With AFP