Harsh new Security law ends two decades of Hong Kong’s autonomy, New security law provides for extradition of Hong Kong protestors to China for life imprisonment
China may be at the cataclysmic point in history which could either make it or break it. It was the origin point of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic which has left the world gasping for breath. It is fighting with its neighbors and having a trade war with the U.S. At the same time, it is intent on quashing any protests that happen in Hong Kong.
Since it’s handover to China in 1997, Hong Kong has been ruled through a One Country Two System government. This system enshrined in the China U.K. pact for Hong Kong handover allowed a fair degree of autonomy compared to the Mainland Chinese citizens. Hong Kong citizens have been using these laws to protest against various issues that affect them. One of the protests was against China enforcing a new security law making Hong Kong a virtual colony of China.
And this is what happened after two years of protest. Yesterday night President Xi Jinping signed into the act a law that gives sweeping powers to China over Hong Kong. Such was the urgency shown by China that the law was rushed through China’s top legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, earlier this week and signed into law by President Xi Jinping late last night with immediate effect.
The newly signed security law allows China to extradite any Hong Kong citizen to the mainland and imprison him/her for life. The law allows Chinese authorities to operate in Hong Kong without fear of punishment. Up to now, only Hong Kong authorities could do that.
It also provides for Chinese authorities to snoop on any Hong Kong citizen without any warrant, intercept mobile communications, implement the Great Firewall in Hong Kong. The new law states that Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam will be the virtual dictator of Hong Kong.
Even citizens outside Hong Kong will not be spared if they protest against the Chinese leadership. Outsiders who write about the Hong Kong protest or against Mainland China will be arrested as soon as they enter Hong Kong. The new security law is a 35-page document. The English translation can be read here.
New security law for Hong Kong
- Interruption/protest to stop transport vehicles will invite terrorism charges
- Protests will be treated as subversion.
- Protestors cannot hold any office in Hong Kong
- Snooping/prying on mobile communications and Internet
- Mainland China will decide complex or serious circumstances and not the local authorities.
- Allows closed trials in cases involving state secrets or other subjects “not fit for open trial”
- Allows justice minister to opt out of jury trials in some cases
- Grants immunity to Chinese agents performing duties in Hong Kong
The world leaders have condemned this new Hong Kong security law. Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, said: “Australia is troubled by the law’s implications for Hong Kong’s judicial independence, and on the rights and freedoms by the people of Hong Kong, both of which underpin the city’s success.” While U.S. has decided to ban the export of weapons and sensitive tech to Hong Kong. The U.S. Secretary of State will be issuing a statement on this issue soon.