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DECEMBER 2020

China Proposes New National Security Law For Hong Kong As Only Result Of More Than A Year Of Protests

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China Proposes New National Security Law For Hong Kong As Only Result Of More Than A Year Of Protests

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China proposed a national security law for Hong Kong, which is the result of the months-long riots which were very often quite violent and continued destroying public property and disrupting public life.

Speaking at the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), Wang Chen, vice-chairman of the NPC’s Standing Committee, confirmed that the law would proscribe secessionist and subversive activity as well as foreign interference and terrorism in the city.

Wang said a fundamental consideration behind the resolution was that Beijing would not allow Hong Kong to be turned into a “base of infiltration”.

“Using Hong Kong to infiltrate and sabotage the mainland touches on our bottom line, it is absolutely not tolerable,” he said.

He also stressed that by making the new law, Beijing had been trying to protect the legal rights of the city’s residents:

“To prevent, frustrate and punish the small minority of criminal acts that harm national security is to offer better protection to the safety of life and property of the vast majority of Hong Kong people, as well as their basic rights and freedoms.”

It is highly necessary for China’s national legislature to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security, Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the third session of the 13th NPC, said.

Explaining the consideration for the draft decision, Zhang said safeguarding national security serves the fundamental interests of all Chinese including Hong Kong compatriots.

“The HKSAR is an inseparable part of the People’s Republic of China, and the NPC is the highest organ of state power,” Zhang said.

US President Donald Trump, who has ramped up criticism of China as he seeks re-election in November, said Washington would react “very strongly” against any attempt by Beijing to tighten its control over Hong Kong.

The South China Morning Post newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said the laws would ban secession, foreign interference, “terrorism” and all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government and any external interference in Hong Kong.

A high degree of autonomy and respect for human rights were key to preserving the territory’s special status, US Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

“Any effort to impose national security legislation that does not reflect the will of the people of Hong Kong would be highly destabilizing, and would be met with strong condemnation from the United States and the international community,” Ortagus said in emailed comments.

US senators Chris Van Hollen (Democrat) and Pat Toomey (Republican) introduced legislation to punish Chinese entities involved in enforcing the proposed new security law in Hong Kong and penalize banks that do business with those entities. They acted in response to what they said was the Chinese Communist Party’s “brazen interference” in Hong Kong’s autonomy.

On May 22nd, Taiwan’s government urged China not to lead Hong Kong into “bigger turmoil” with the proposed new national security legislation.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement that China’s Communist Party had wrongly blamed external influences and Hong Kong independence “separatists” for the instability in the territory.

Beijing maintains that US and any other state shouldn’t meddle in its internal affairs, as Hong Kong is one of them.

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