December 6, 2021

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Hong Kong security law: China passes controversial legislation

Image copyright AFP Image caption Protests rocked Hong Kong last year, sparked by a bill intended to enable extraditions to the mainland China has formally adopted a controversial security law, giving it new powers over Hong Kong and deepening fears for its freedoms.It is set to criminalise secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces, but…

Protester throwing a tear-gas canister back at the police

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AFP

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Protests rocked Hong Kong in 2015, sparked by an expense intended to enable extraditions to the mainland.

China has formally adopted a questionable security law, providing it new powers over Hong Kong and deepening worries for its freedoms.

It is set to criminalise secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces, but will also effectively cut demonstrations and liberty of speech.

The move follows increasing discontent and a widening pro-democracy movement.

Pro-democracy organisation Demosisto reacted to the news by revealing it was ceasing all operations

Previously Joshua Wong, one of Hong Kong’s most popular activists, stated he was leaving the group, which he had actually led.

However some other veteran activists have said they will sign up with a key march on Wednesday, despite the danger of arrest under the brand-new law.

China’s state news firm, Xinhua, validated that President Xi Jinping had actually now signed the security law. It has actually been contributed to Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the 50- year mini-constitution concurred when the territory’s sovereignty was gone back to China by the UK in 1997.

Its terms are not yet clear, suggesting homeowners still do not understand the measures they will need to comply with. The law could be carried out as early as Wednesday.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab revealed “deep issue” at the reports the law had actually been passed, saying: “This would be a severe step.”

The law has actually triggered presentations in Hong Kong given that it was revealed by Beijing in May. China states it is required to deal with unrest and instability and turns down criticism as interference in its affairs.

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AFP

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Critics alert the law will shut down dissent.

In addition, the city will have to develop its own nationwide security commission to implement the laws, with a Beijing-appointed advisor.

Importantly, Beijing will have power over how the law ought to be interpreted.

Individuals in Hong Kong reward civil liberties such as totally free speech, the right to protest and an entirely independent and robust judiciary, as allowed in the Basic Law.

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Getty Images

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The expense will cement Beijing’s control of Hong Kong.

Recently, Hong Kong has actually seen waves of protests requiring more rights. In 2015, rallies over a now-scrapped bill allowing extraditions to the mainland turned violent and fuelled a broad pro-democracy movement.

In a video address to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday, President Carrie Lam said criminal activities under the brand-new law would be clearly specified.

She said the law would just target a “small minority” and would not undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy, including: “We appreciate distinctions in viewpoint.”

‘ A tool to suppress political agitation’

Unlike somewhere else in China, Hong Kong has an independent judiciary.

So, prior to the new security bill, which actions by activists – no matter how subversive – could not be dealt with under existing laws?

The more that Beijing, under Xi Jinping’s leadership, has actually looked for to control Hong Kong, the more it has driven citizens into the pro-democracy camp.

Cops plan to have 4,000 riot officers on standby, the South China Morning Post reports.

Joshua Wong said the law marked “the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before”.

Taiwan even warned its citizens of dangers in checking out Hong Kong.

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Media caption The identity crisis behind Hong Kong’s demonstrations

Washington on Monday started transfer to end Hong Kong’s unique status trade relationship with the US.

On Tuesday, China said it would respond to the elimination with unspecified “countermeasures”.

The UK earlier said it would alter its migration rules and offer millions of individuals in Hong Kong “a route to citizenship” if China went ahead with the legislation.

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