Hong Kong Unites Against China’s Newly Proposed National Security Laws
Last updated on May 29th, 2020
Pro-democratic movements in Hong Kong are back in action after a long halt due to the ban on social gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Tensions have been escalating ever since China proposed new national security laws that may allow Beijing’s security forces to operate and enter in mainland Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is long known as Asia’s financial hub and has managed to forge relations with the US and other strong nations while staying inside the Chinese bubble. China’s attempts to gain control over the former British territory’s trade and legislature for many years have sparked pro-democratic movement time to time among the citizens of Hong Kong against the Chinese influenced government.
China’s newly proposed national security laws for Hong Kong could also lead to sanctions from the US and threaten the city’s status as a financial hub. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said on Friday that the proposed security law was effectively a “death knell” for Hong Kong’s status as an autonomous city. He urged China to “reconsider its disastrous proposal [and] abide by its international obligations”.
The new law that is expected to pass without objection in absence of any opposition, could bypass Hong Kong’s own security and allow Beijing to set up its own centre and operate in the city. This could lead to forced arrests, more suppressions of pro-democratic voices and extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China.
Multiple authorities are speculating that this could end Hong-Kong’s autonomy and would backfire on the economies of both China and Hong Kong. It would boggle the long enjoyed Asian financial hub status of Hong Kong for multiple international companies and Chinese firms.
However, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported that Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam has said on Friday that new national security laws would boost the investor’s confidence and would not harm the interest of foreign investors.
After recent developments and to come as a hope for the activists, Taiwan’ President Tsai Ing-wen has said to provide the people of Hong Kong with “necessary assistance”. Taiwan has become a refuge for a small but growing number of pro-democracy protesters fleeing Hong Kong, the protestors are now on a grim hope of getting international support from other nations to strengthen their voices and maintain Hong Kong’s autonomy status. Despite the COVID-19 fear, another mass and majorly peaceful protest was seen on Sunday on the main streets of Hong Kong against China’s latest proposal.
In the middle of facing criticism internationally over the handling of the outbreak, Chinese authorities appear to have decided to continue to use brutal legislatures in order to strengthen its grip over the media and power. With Hong Kong’s pro-democratic movement gaining international momentum, they are coming largely to stem all those voices that talk about freedom of speech, non-restrictive media, democratic freedom and human rights.
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