Chinese Legislature Approves Security Law for Hong Kong

Marco Green
June 30, 2020

President Tsai Ing-wen, who in May became the first government leader anywhere to pledge measures to help Hong Kong people who leave due to what they see as tightening Chinese controls, said she was "very disappointed" by China's imposition of the law.

The law's approval by the National People's Congress (NPC) standing committee after months of mass public protest was immediately condemned by Brussels as being in breach of China's treaty obligations to preserve Hong Kong's independent judicial status and traditional freedoms of speech and association. The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced visa restrictions for U.S. individuals in response.

Its last British governor, Lord Patten, said the move had breached agreements made with the United Kingdom before Hong Kong was handed over in 1997.

"In response. China has made a decision to impose visa restrictions on US individuals with egregious conduct on HK related issues".

The U.S. Commerce Department said it was suspending "preferential treatment to Hong Kong over China, including the availability of export-license exceptions".

"Chinese society, including Hong Kong society, must be prepared to support the enforcement of the law in the city after it is passed, to punish a few diehards who have been committed to jeopardising national security, and to fight some tough battles against United States interference in Hong Kong, to truly establish a line of defence on national security there", it wrote. It includes secondary sanctions on banks that do business with anyone backing any crackdown on the territory's autonomy.

Taiwan's Cabinet Spokesperson Evian Ting said the law would "severely impact" freedom, democracy, and human rights in Hong Kong, and warned Taiwanese citizens of "possible risks" when visiting the Chinese city, according to Reuters.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP), quoting an unnamed source, said Xinhua will publish details of the law on Tuesday afternoon and Hong Kong officials will gather at Beijing's top representative office in the city later in the day for a meeting on the legislation.

"The future of "one country, two systems" is extremely important to our country that has close economic relations and people-to-people exchanges with Hong Kong", Suga said, adding Tokyo will work with other nations in urging Beijing to deal with the matter "appropriately".

"The struggle of Hong Kong people will not stop, it will only continue in a stronger gesture".

"It will throttle the city's rule of law, presenting a major confrontation between what passes for law in China and the common law system in Hong Kong, which has allowed the city to function as one of most important financial hubs in Asia". We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China.

"If (the reported enactment) is true, I have no choice but to say it will significantly affect President Xi Jinping's state visit to Japan", Kono said at a press conference.

Chinese officials have railed against what they claim is foreign interference in the territory that they blame for encouraging last year's anti-government protests. Further actions to eliminate differential treatment are also being evaluated.

However, both Wong and Law intend to run for Hong Kong's Legislative Council election in September. Pro-China figures have also been pushing for more "patriotic" education to be introduced into the curriculum in hopes that will boost their identification with Beijing.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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