Because of the 123-year British rule Hing Kong enjoyed much more political freedom than mainland China. The new law formally is not cutting those inherited freedoms however it gives Beijing some tools to deal with local politicians that question the status of the city as a Chinese territory. With vaguely defined terms the law may be used against any political dissident of party. United States and Britain strongly opposed the adoption of the law. However threat of sanctions hasn’t stopped China from voting.
The Chinese government has implemented the controversial Hong Kong security law. Local media report, based on sources, that the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress has unanimously adopted the law, which Beijing believes is to ensure ‘national security’.
Beijing wants to end the protracted unrest in Hong Kong by law. Since March last year, there has been a massive demonstration in the city against the growing influence of China. The new law bans the pursuit of secession, foreign interference, and state-undermining activities in Hong Kong.
It will be possible to surrender people who have been arrested in the city to the Chinese legal system. It is not yet clear how far that will go. There are fears that life sentences can be imposed.
It also allows China to formally establish an office in Hong Kong of the national security services for the first time.
The security law is expected to go into effect tomorrow, July 1, on the day Hong Kong was transferred to China by the British 23 years ago.
The law no longer comes as a surprise to anyone, but the rush with which it was adopted. It is also unclear what exactly it says, only the main lines are known, the details will probably come later today.
The law focuses on behavior or actions that could overthrow the state, against terrorism, separatism, collusion with foreign forces. These are all very broad, vaguely difined terms. It should be as vague as possible so that it is as broad as possible can be applied.
Opponents of the security law are disappointed. Joshua Wong, one of the founders of the pro-democratic umbrella movement and Demosisto, a political party that stands for far-reaching self-determination, says it will stop its political activities. Other party members also terminate their activities.