China passes Hong Kong security law

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 30, 2020

Buildings are seen above Hong Kong and Chinese flags, as pro-China supporters celebration after China's parliament passes national security law for Hong Kong, in Hong Kong, June 30,2020.

"The Chinese Communist Party's decision to eviscerate Hong Kong's freedoms has forced the Trump Administration to re-evaluate its policies toward the territory", Pompeo said, saying that the decision was necessary to protect US national security.

Donald Trump, already on a pre-election collision course with China, has previously said the U.S. will remove Hong Kong's favoured trading status. "Don't let Hong Kong be used as a tool to split the country".

Beijing says the law, which comes in response to last year's often-violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, aims to tackle subversion, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces.

The Hong Kong issue is one factor behind growing opposition among Japanese conservatives to the state visit, along with China's repeated dispatching of ships to waters near the Senkaku Islands, controlled by Japan but claimed by China. Soon afterwards, the group announced it would cease operations in Hong Kong. Around 350,000 people in Hong Kong have this passport and a further 2.6m are eligible.

Demosisto was founded in 2016 as a political platform and sought to field candidates for legislative elections.

Tony Chung, founder of the Studentlocalism activist group, announced his group would disband and that he would withdraw from political activism.

"This law risks seriously undermining the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong and having a detrimental effect on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law", said European Council President Charles Michel. "I will continue to walk with the people of Hong Kong after my occupation changes", he wrote. They have questioned the legal basis on which China proceeded with the legislation, saying it undermines the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution. The act allows the continue to treat Hong Kong separately from the Chinese mainland for matters including trade. The law is expected to carry a maximum penalty of life in jail, contrary to earlier indications of a 10-year limit.

Passage of the law came amid warnings and criticism both in Hong Kong and the worldwide community that it will be used to curb opposition voices in the Asian financial hub. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's chief executive will have the power to appoint judges handling related court cases locally.

Hong Kong's police force, already widely criticized for widespread violence against peaceful protesters and increasingly arbitrary arrests, has already set up a national security division to implement the law, according to Xinhua.

Lam said it is not appropriate for her to comment on national security legislation as meeting in Beijing is still ongoing.

But the legislation's passage has been met with strong resistance by Western governments and the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong, who say it represents an end of the One Country, Two Systems principle that has governed the city since its return to China in 1997.

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong said on Tuesday he is stepping down as leader of his democracy group Demosisto, just hours after local media reported that Beijing had passed national security legislation for the Chinese-ruled city.

Reported by RFA's Mandarin and Cantonese Services.

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