HK society voices support for national security legislation for HKSAR

  • HK society voices support for national security legislation for HKSAR

HK society voices support for national security legislation for HKSAR

While the seven-month-long agitation a year ago in which millions took part subsided during the coronavirus crisis from January to April, protestors returned to streets this month, with the pro-autonomy and pro-freedom legislators grappling with the security officials in local legislature protesting against the curbs.

Now, China appears to be sidestepping Hong Kong's lawmaking body to enact the legislation.

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

Hong Kong activists and opposition lawmakers criticized Beijing's proposal to enact new national security legislation in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, warning it goes against the "one country, two systems" framework that allows the city to enjoy freedoms not found on the mainland. Beijing has said such measures are "absolutely necessary" for stopping the protests and restoring order.

"Traders around the world are playing the waiting game to see details of the new Hong Kong law to gauge how severe the terms are", said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp. Over the a year ago, charges of rioting, illegal assembly, public obstruction among others have failed to dent the demonstrations.

"Any effort to impose national security legislation that does not reflect the will of the people of Hong Kong would be highly destabilizing, and would be met with strong condemnation from the United States and the worldwide community", spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

China's Communist leaders are again showing the world their true colors with their plans to essentially end Hong Kong's special freedoms.

"A broad-brush interpretation of this law would signal the end of Hong Kong as we know it", Patterson said.

The draft law, expected to be passed next week by the National People's Congress in Beijing, has been criticised by democratic parties in Hong Kong as undermining the "one country, two systems" model that gives the SAR a high degree of autonomy.

"Many people have felt discouraged and helpless, while feeling there was nothing they could do except to watch Hong Kong die, then this national security law came along and our fighting spirit has returned!" said another post.

Why are people in Hong Kong afraid?

The "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act" approved by US President Donald Trump past year requires the State Department to certify at least annually that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to justify favourable US trading terms that have helped it maintain its position as a world financial centre.

In Washington, where President Donald Trump and his top national security officials have been increasingly critical of China for both its response to the coronavirus pandemic and actions in Hong Kong, the State Department said such a move would "undermine the PRC's commitments and obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration". Canada has announced $1.2-billion for COVID-19 research.

"In a situation where the countries that historically would speak up for Hong Kong are on their knees and are dependent on China for PPE, what better timing is there than that?" said Tsang, referring to China's shipments of personal protective equipment around the world.

The practice of "one country, two systems" has achieved unprecedented success in Hong Kong, according to an explanatory document delivered by Wang, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. But we have this law this year, and it will be a turning point.

Finally, people realise that an erosion of Hong Kong's liberties will affects its attractiveness as a business and economic powerhouse.

Observers believe the immediate effect of the law is likely to be more unrest. In the proposal, the parliament would authorize the standing committee to formulate laws on "establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for [Hong Kong] to safeguard national security" to prevent and punish acts in Hong Kong seen as subversion, terrorism, separatism and foreign interference, or "other acts that seriously endanger national security, as well as activities of foreign and external forces that interfere in the affairs of Hong Kong".

"The national security law is clearly pushing Hong Kong towards an end".