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Hong Kong National Security Law Explained

China has passed a new national security law for Hong Kong on 30th June, 2020. It steals Hong Kong’s autonomy and easier to punish the protesters fighting for their rights. So, China passed this law unanimously under Annex III of the Basic Law made in 1997. The national security law criminalizes any act of secession, subversion, collusion and terrorism.

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What Is The New National Security Law? Hong Kong National Security Law Explained

Hong Kong’s Status

Hong Kong is a former British colony that was handed over to China in 1997. It has a separate legal system and it’s own judiciary from mainland China. They have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. These rights are in the Basic law agreed between Britain and China in 1997. So, the Basic Law has a span for 50 years which will expire in 2047. After that, nobody knows what Hong Kong’s status will be then.

Hong Kong’s Autonomy

Police forces, Legal systems

Own government, Immigration policies

Currency and customs, Multi-party legislatures

Educational systems, Official languages

Sports and postal system

Competence in external relations

China’s Control Over Hong Kong – A New Hong Kong

Hong Kong doesn’t have its embassy. It only has it’s consulate. There is a military control of PRC in Hong Kong. Everyone except Hong Kong as a part of China. So, Hong Kong is China’s part but it works under a different system. China is a one country with two different systems of Hong Kong and Macao.

Hong Kong Lost an Opportunity

Under Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong could enact the national security law on its own. Also, they tried it in 2003. But, due to the massive protests then, they couldn’t do that. Beacuse, Hong Kong’s people didn’t want to live with these security restrictions.

Hong Kong Protests 2019-20 Over A New Hong Kong

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The protests started against plans to allow extradition to mainland China. And, China withdraw this bill in September. But, demonstrations continued and they wanted full democracy. As they have a fear of what will happen to them after the end of the Basic Law. So, the protests then became increasingly violent.

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Hong Kong Media Being Silenced Due To China’s National Security Law

The National Security Law Imposed by China

China imposed national security law to ensure the city has a legal framework to deal with. This law criminalizes any act of-

Secession – breaking away from the country
Subversion is undermining the power or authority of the central government
Terrorism – using intimidation or violence against people
Collusion with foreign or external forces.

Hong Kong people are Afraid by the National Security Law

On 1st July, 1997, Hong Kong was handed over to China by the British powers. An hour before it’s 23rd anniversary. And, China released this law. It gives Beijing powers to shape the life of the people in Hong Kong they have never had before. Some critics say it effectively curtails protest and freedom of speech. China said it will return stability.

Crimes like secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces are punishable. There is a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. If any damage done to public transport, it’s considered an act of terrorism. Those found guilty are not allowed to stand for the public office.They will impose a fine on companies if convicted under the law. Beijing will establish their new security office in Hong Kong.

It will have its law enforcement personnel. Neither of that would come under the local authority’s jurisdiction. This office will be able to send some cases to try in mainland China. But, Beijing said it will only have that power over a “small number” of cases. Also, Hong Kong will have to establish its national security commission to enforce the laws.

There should be a Beijing-appointed adviser. Hong Kong’s chief executive will have the power to appoint judges to hear the national security cases. By, raising fears about judicial autonomy. Moreover, Beijing will have power over how to interpret the law. No Hong Kong judicial or policy body has that power. If the law conflicts with any Hong Kong law, then the Beijing law takes priority. They will hear some trials behind closed doors.

People who found suspected of breaking the law can be wire-tapped and put under surveillance. The management of foreign non-governmental organizations and news agencies will strengthen. This law will also apply to non-permanent residents and people “from outside Hong Kong” who are not the permanent residents of Hong Kong.

There are reports of people deleting some Facebook posts, and it’s concerns. Candidates will get disqualified if they oppose the national security law.Most of the people are afraid of their judicial independence will get eroded. Its judicial system will look increasing like to mainland China’s. This city is the only common law jurisdiction in China.

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China’s National Security Law Imprisoning Free Speech

As per The Basic Law, no Chinese laws can apply in Hong Kong. Unless they are in a section called Annex III. There are already a few listed there, mostly uncontroversial and around foreign policy. One can introduce these laws by decree – which means they bypass the city’s parliament.

The law brings yet more uncertainty as Hong Kong faces its deepest recession after last year’s protests and the global pandemic. Unemployment has risen to a 15-year high. While the investors are putting money elsewhere. Some expatriates and Hong Kong residents have said they’re considering leaving the city. UK said, it will give citizenship upto 3 million Hong Kong residents and many countries like USA and Australia are supporting Hong Kong.

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