Posted June 30, 2020 9:28 am by

China passes feared Hong Kong security law

Hong Kong, China, Jun 30 – China passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong on Tuesday, a historic move that critics and many western governments fear will smother the finance hub’s freedoms and hollow out its autonomy.

The legislation was unanimously approved by China’s rubber-stamp parliament, little more than six weeks after it was first unveiled.

Outline of main points that could be covered in the new national security law that China imposed on Hong Kong on Tuesday © AFP / John SAEKI

“It marks the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before,” prominent democracy campaigner Joshua Wong tweeted. “With sweeping powers and ill-defined law, the city will turn into a #secretpolicestate.”

The United States, Britain, the European Union and the United Nations rights watchdog have all voiced fears the law could be used to stifle criticism of Beijing, which wields similar laws on the authoritarian mainland to crush dissent.

The law bypassed Hong Kong’s fractious legislature and the wording was kept secret from the city’s 7.5 million inhabitants.

China passes feared Hong Kong security law

Even as word filtered out that the national security law had been approved, Hong Kongers remained in the dark about its contents and what might now constitute a crime © AFP / ISAAC LAWRENCE

The opacity continued even after the law was passed, with silence from Beijing. Instead the news filtered out via pro-Beijing politicians and local media outlets in Hong Kong.

At her weekly press conference on Tuesday morning, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam — a pro-Beijing appointee — declined to comment on whether the law had been passed or what it contained.

“The fact that Hong Kong people will only come to know what’s really in this new law after the fact is more than preposterous,” Claudia Mo, an opposition lawmaker, told AFP.

– ‘Fundamental change’ –

Hong Kong was guaranteed certain freedoms — as well as judicial and legislative autonomy — for 50 years in a deal known as “One Country, Two Systems”.

China passes feared Hong Kong security law

Prominent democracy campaigner Joshua Wong tweeted: ‘It marks the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before. With sweeping powers and ill-defined law, the city will turn into a #secretpolicestate’ © AFP / Anthony WALLACE

The formula formed the bedrock of the city’s transformation into a world class business hub, bolstered by a reliable judiciary and political Read More…China passes feared Hong Kong security law  China passes feared Hong Kong security law  China passes feared Hong Kong security law  China passes feared Hong Kong security law