China unveils new security legislation for Hong Kong


Beijing on Saturday released details on its new national security law for Hong Kong amid China’s recent moves to reclaim control over the semi-autonomous city.

The move for stricter national security measures has been met with criticism by Western governments such as the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, which scrutinize the new actions as an infringement on Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” rule.

The new legislation will form a national security office for Hong Kong to gather intelligence and tackle crimes against national security, according to a state-run Xinhua news outlet, Reuters reported.

The Xinhua outlet said Hong Kong’s leader Carrier Lam could have the ability to choose justices to hear national security cases, adding that the national security activities would protect human rights and freedom of speech and assembly, although no further details were added.

Beijing said the draft legislation would be aimed at handling separatist activity, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Many critics of the draft law, which is estimated for enactment around Sept. 6, are concerned with the suppression of the people of Hong Kong’s freedoms, as the government has labeled many pro-democracy demonstrators as agitators and terrorists since last June.

Hong Kong has reassured unnerved investors in the global financial center that the new laws would not negatively impact investor confidence, saying that people who abide by the law need not worry.

However, these assurances have been met with harsh pushback, as human rights organizations and U.S. and European diplomats have strained ties over Beijing’s latest proposals, which began last month.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has Friday that Washington would treat Hong Kong as a Chinese city, rather than a semi-autonomous zone, after an apparent attempt for the mainland to regain control of the land that was passed on from British control in 1997.

The European Parliament voted in favor Friday of taking China to the International Court of Justice in The Hague if Beijing goes through with the new security law over Hong Kong.

Tags Beijing Carrie Lam China Hong Kong Hong Kong independence Hong Kong–Mainland China conflict Mike Pompeo One country, two systems Pro-democracy camp
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