Hong Kong’s CEO said on Tuesday that her government would “vigorously” apply the new security legislation introduced by Beijing. Carrie Lam also warned “radical” activists against “crossing the red line”.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, defended the new Chinese Security Act on Tuesday, July 7, which she promised to “vigorously apply” and said the legislative text “was not as bleak as it sounds to Hong Kong.”
Carrie Lam spoke at a press conference, a week after Beijing introduced this law on semi-autonomous territory, both reassuring and threatening.
“The consequences of a violation of this law are very serious,” says the CEO, and in particular warns the “radical” activists against “crossing the red line”.
However, Carrie Lam denied the accusations that this law would threaten the freedoms enjoyed by about 7.5 million Hong Kongers, saying comments about her were “inaccuracies”.
“I am confident that over time … confidence will increase” both in “the principle of one country, two systems”, which is meant to guarantee unknown freedoms and autonomy in China, as well as for “the future of Hong Kong,” added she.
Carrie Lam: “The Hong Kong Government Will Strongly Enforce This Law”
The national security legislation, introduced on June 30 by the Chinese regime, is the most radical turning point for Hong Kong since Britain’s retrocession to China in 1997.
Until the very last minute, Beijing kept the secret of this law, which seeks to suppress subversion, isolation, terrorism and cooperation with foreign forces. It is intended to be a response to the unprecedented protest movement since 1997 that emerged a year ago.
Climate of fear
Last week, in a few hours, a climate of fear fell on the city, the law in particular criminalized the fact that demanded independence or greater autonomy in Hong Kong. Many residents have erased computer tracks from their pro-democracy involvement, as the government on Monday ordered schools to remove books that may violate the text.
Books written by figures from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement have also begun to disappear from city libraries. Carrie Lam dismissed these concerns, saying that this law was designed to protect the freedoms of the majority of the population.
“I did not see widespread fear among Hong Kong residents last week,” she said.
The press conference was held hours after the government released a document extending the security powers of the Hong Kong police under the new law.
In particular, law enforcement officials will be able to conduct searches without commands if they believe that national security is under “imminent” threat.
The chief of police has also been given the power to monitor and suppress all information online if there are “reasonable grounds” to believe it violates national security law.