Pedestrians strolls past a government-sponsored ad promoting a brand-new nationwide security law on June 30, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.
Billy H.C. Kwok | Getty Images
BEIJING — The main Chinese federal government passed a sweeping brand-new security law for Hong Kong that worked simply hours prior to the 23rd anniversary of the city’s handover from the U.K. to China on Wednesday.
The National Security Law enhances Beijing’s control on Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous area with higher democratic flexibilities and positioning with global service requirements than the mainland. That unique status has actually made Hong Kong an appealing center for numerous global business wishing to tap the Greater China market.
“Some of the recent happenings in Hong Kong represent a deviation from ‘one country, two systems,'” Zhang Xiaoming, executive deputy director of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, stated Wednesday at an interview.
He was describing the structure that enables Hong Kong some legal and financial autonomy that other Chinese cities do not have. Hong Kong, an unique administrative area of China, was a British nest that went back to Chinese guideline in 1997.
“The purpose is not to take the pro-democratic camp in Hong Kong as an imaginary enemy. The purpose is combating a narrow category of crimes against national security,” Zhang stated, according to an authorities English translation of his Mandarin-language remarks. “The ‘one country two systems’ has already spoken volumes of the political tolerance of the central (government).”
“People with different views, they may continue to exist for a long time in Hong Kong … You should not use this (difference in views) as a pretext to … turn Hong Kong into a safe haven of anti-China forces,” he stated.
Under the brand-new legislation, a number of the activities performed by protesters in Hong Kong over the in 2015 end up being punishable by law. What started as mainly tranquil mass demonstrations versus a questionable extradition costs more than 12 months ago became violent clashes with cops.
An authorities English translation of the brand-new law specifies that an individual who shows a view to “undermining national unification” of Hong Kong with the mainland deals with penalty of as much as life time, depending upon the intensity of the offense. Financial assistance for such activities is likewise a criminal activity.
The security law likewise set out in broad strokes what might be considered offenses by “terrorist organizations” and those who conspire with foreign entities.
The text likewise states those who are not irreversible Hong Kong homeowners can be deported if they break the law.
Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing’s choice to continue with the law comes in spite of strong criticism from Europe and the U.S.
EU Council President Charles Michel stated Tuesday that “We deplore the decision,” according to a Reuters report.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has actually likewise taken actions towards removing Hong Kong’s unique trading status with the world’s biggest economy, starting with constraints on defense exports and access to high innovation items.
Other elements of the law showed how Beijing would reinforce its hand in Hong Kong’s affairs.
Based on the law, a brand-new workplace for preserving nationwide security situated in Hong Kong will not go through the unique administrative area’s authority. Zhang stated Wednesday that numerous cases managed by the nationwide security workplace might include state tricks.
A nationwide security consultant designated by the main federal government will attend conferences of a Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the law stated.
Hong Kong will likewise promote nationwide security education through schools and media, according to the law.
— CNBC’s Lilian Wu added to this report.