Trudeau says he is concerned by China’s Hong Kong security law

  • Trudeau says he is concerned by China’s Hong Kong security law

Trudeau says he is concerned by China’s Hong Kong security law

Wu Chi-wai, legislator and chairman of the Democratic Party, center, wears a protective mask as he and other party members march to the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government during a protest in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, May 22, 2020.

It is also a way for China to send a message to the United States, which is debating whether to continue granting Hong Kong special trade status under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, passed a year ago to pressure Beijing into respecting the city's rights.

He called on all "allies from around the world to support Hong people against the national security law that erodes our basic and fundamental freedom".

"Given that the protests and their intensity have been driven by Beijing's erosion of promised freedoms, Beijing's direct imposition of a security law would clearly enflame the population", said Victoria Tin-bor Hui, an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame who has been following the protests.

China has long indicated its intention to bring Hong Kong under tighter control - it warned in a 2014 policy white paper that it has "comprehensive jurisdiction" or "comprehensive power to rule" over Hong Kong.

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien told "The Story" Thursday that "America will respond" if the Chinese government "takes strong action" under a proposed "national security law" that would strengthen Beijing's control over Hong Kong after months of pro-democracy protests. "We have 300,000 Canadians who live in Hong Kong", Mr. Trudeau told his daily news conference Friday.

"We are going to see people going back in the streets in Hong Kong, both big demonstrations and smaller demonstrations - which will be met by police with full force - and violence re-erupting in Hong Kong", said Tsang.

In reaction, the Hong Kong stock market closed down more than 5%.

For two decades, Beijing has been frustrated by widespread popular opposition to national security laws that were thwarted by mass protests in Hong Kong during an initial push in 2003.

Martin Lee, considered the grandfather of Hong Kong's democracy movement, made a similar point to the Heritage Foundation, warning that Beijing could renege on Trump's cherished trade agreement.

President Trump has also weighed in, saying the U.S. would react strongly if it went through - without giving details.

What is in Beijing's proposed law?

A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry's office of the commissioner to Hong Kong said in a statement Pompeo's actions can not scare the Chinese people and that Beijing will safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.

"Treason, sedition and subversion" are all open to a very wide interpretation.

Now, new legislation is in the works that promises to make that crisis much worse.

The NPC is expected to vote on the draft law at the end of its annual session, on 28 May.

This also leaves Hong Kong's huge democracy movement helpless to block the legislation, as it did last year's extradition bill that would've sent the accused to the mainland for "justice".

Mr Wang said the security risks had become "increasingly notable" - a reference to last year's protests.

"Efforts must be made at the state level to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for [Hong Kong] to safeguard national security, to change the long-term "defenseless" status in the field of national security", Wang said.

Beijing may also fear September's elections to Hong Kong's legislature.

The announcement was met with a warning from Mr Trump that the USA would react "very strongly" against any attempt to gain more control over the former British colony.

What is Hong Kong's legal situation?

DW correspondent Phoebe Kong tweeted that the security law was "listed under annex 3 of basic law, bypassing scrutiny of the local legislature".

The British and Chinese governments signed a treaty - the Sino-British Joint Declaration - that agreed Hong Kong would have "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs", for 50 years.