China passes Hong Kong national security law

Elias Hubbard
July 3, 2020

Around 370 protesters were arrested in Hong Kong, including 10 for breaching a new security law, according to police.

Protesters throw mock paper money during a march against the national security law on the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China from Britain, in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

The July 1st rally is held every year to march against Beijing's authority over the special administrative region but took on a new dimension amid the ongoing unrest.

The China-approved new law came into effect on Tuesday night and allows authorities to crack down on secessionist gatherings in the city.

The 35-page legislation drafted behind closed doors in Beijing represents an uneasy marriage between China's "socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics" and the common law preserved in Hong Kong after the British left in 1997.

Officials in Beijing and Hong Kong officials says the law, which bypasses Hong Kong's legislature, is necessary to restore order and stability in the city and will only target a handful of "trouble-makers".

Prime Minister Scott Morrision on Thursday said Australia was "actively considering" an offer of safe haven to Hong Kong residents threatened by the imposition of a controversial security law by China that gave it sweeping powers over the former British territory.

Mr Law was a founding member of Demosisto, a pro-democracy party that disbanded earlier this week in response to the security law.

Acts including damaging public transport facilities - which often happened during the 2019 protests - can be considered terrorism. After it is enacted, Hong Kong will enjoy more stable social order and better business environment, where Hong Kong residents and foreign investors can all benefit, Zhao said.

In a statement, Hong Kong's government said the phrase was now illegal because it "contains the indications of Hong Kong independence, or alienating Hong Kong from China, or changing its legal status, or subverting the state".

Companies who are using Hong Kong as their headquarters in Asia should check if this is still a wise decision, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

When pressed for details about who would be covered by particular crimes on Wednesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said "whether an act has violated the law can't be explained through a simple discussion here". But for many others it is more a cry for democracy and expression of rising frustration with Beijing's rule.

The UK has offered a path to citizenship for Hong Kong residents and accused the Chinese government of committing a "clear and serious" violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration between China and Britain.

Numerous others have also expressed strong concerns.

However, Cuba - on behalf of 53 countries - welcomed the law.

Speaking at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, it said: "Non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states is an essential principle enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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