China is working on a “security law” that will make opposition in Hong Kong more difficult. The draft law will be submitted to the National People’s Congress, which will begin its annual session in Beijing tomorrow.
If the new law is passed, it will ban the pursuit of secession, foreign interference and state-undermining activities in Hong Kong.
“Opposition in Hong Kong was not easy,” says correspondent Sjoerd den Daas. “This gives Beijing even more tools to silence opposition, which it believes strives for independence, for example.”
Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997. Since then, the city has become part of China again, but with its own economic system and more democratic freedoms.
Beijing has been trying to get the security law through since Hong Kong has become part of the People’s Republic of China again. After last year, the law has become even higher on the agenda. Then Hong Kong residents flocked to protest the pro-Chinese government in Hong Kong. Those protests turned into violent clashes with the police, wreaked havoc and chaos, and were a thorn in the side of the Beijing government.
A proposal for a security law has been on the shelf since 2003. But Hong Kong residents took to the streets en masse to prevent their parliament from approving.
The South China Morning Post now writes that the Beijing government has come to the conclusion that the Hong Kong administration is unable to get a security law through its own parliament.
“This has always been a hot topic for Beijing,” says correspondent Den Daas. “They were tired of waiting, didn’t see how local politics would come out of this with the Hong Kong parliamentary elections, and most likely more demonstrations ahead.”
Beijing is now submitting its bill to the National People’s Congress, which it will almost certainly adopt.