Ignoring Global Concerns, Beijing Passes Hong Kong National Security Law
Despite the voiced international concerns, Hong Kong National Security Law was passed by Beijing’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Tuesday. The decision was a part of China’s May-end plans of bypassing Hong Kong’s law making process, and was taken irrespective of the global criticisms and fears generated by the pro-democracy figures in the semi-autonomous city.
A small text of the legislation suggests that the acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces are prohibited under the law. Though the entire text of the legislation hasn’t been disclosed till now, it is expected to come into effect on the 23rd anniversary of the resumption of Chinese sovereignty over the territory, i.e. on July 1.
Hong Kong saw a wave of anti-government protests in much of the second half of 2019, which also led the global financial hub to its first recession in a decade. The national security law suggested by China clearly opposes Hong Kong’s Basic Law that allows the government to enact national security laws itself.
The critics have called Beijing’s decision on Hong Kong national security law as totally unacceptable. The move signalled that the Hong Kong officials are fully liable to fulfil and execute all the instructions given to them by the Chinese Communist Party. The supporters of the law believe that with this law a balance will be struck in the city and the government officials would be able to protect national safety and integrity on one hand and preserve people’s freedom on the other.
For a long time, China has considered Hong Kong’s business as its internal affairs and warned the countries interfering against the harsh consequences. The US on the other hand has criticised China for increasing its hold over the autonomous city and violating its promises made during the 1997 pact.
A few days back, the US also announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. On Monday, it stated that it will stop exporting US defence equipment to Hong Kong saying that it cannot risk the items falling into the hands of People’s Liberation Army, as it only looks after the interests of CCP.
Similarly, the European Parliament also passed a non-binding resolution to sanction and freeze assets against Chinese officials responsible for devising and implementing policies that violate human rights. Highlighting the “repression of protests and democracy advocacy” in Hong Kong, nearly 50 UN rights experts urged the Chinese government to withdraw the Hong Kong national security law.
On the other hand, Beijing believes that passing the law would further ease off the ongoing tensions. Some believe that the law was rushed to avoid future mass unrest in Hong Kong, however, nothing is certain. While speaking of the damages caused due to the Hong Kong protests, the Chinese foreign ministry declared Hong Kong’s national security as a matter of the “the greatest urgency”. Considering the past scenarios, the probability of Hong Kong National Security law working in the favour of Beijing is quite less.
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