Many fear that the national security bill prepared by the Chinese Parliament could be used to silence critical voices in Hong Kong after a year of protests in the former British colony
Beijing.- The National Popular Assembly of China (ANP, Legislative) today reviewed the controversial national security law of Hong Kong, which will include creating a office for « national security matters » of the Chinese central government in the former British colony, the Xinhua state agency reported on Saturday.
According to Xinhua, the ANP Standing Committee, meeting since last Thursday, reviewed the bill, which according to the body « will strengthen » the autonomy of the city and the « one country, two systems » model by which the relations of China with Hong Kong, and with which it is also intended to « eradicate any loophole of foreign interference » in the financial city.
Thus, the agency, which quotes an ANP official, points out that the legislative project consists of 6 sections and 66 articles that include crimes and penalties for crimes related to national security, and how the law and its procedures should be applied.
In addition, the Chinese central government will establish a office for « national security matters » in Hong Kong, which will be chaired by the local Government Headquarters, and the Hong Kong Police and the Hong Kong Department of Justice should form « special units » to « handle most cases ».
The ANP gave in its annual session in May the green light to the entry into force of this law, which many fear that can be used to silence critical voices in Hong Kong after a year of protests in the British ex-colony.
The agency assures that the law will be ready « very soon », and according to close sources cited by the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, Beijing decided not to publish the full content of the project today because changes are still expected « in the next one to two weeks. »
The text approved in May prohibits « any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government » or « the theft of state secrets », as well as the « organization of activities in Hong Kong by foreign political organizations and ‘establishing ties with them’ to political organizations « in the semi-autonomous city.
All with the objective of « safeguarding national sovereignty, security, development interests, maintaining and improving the system of ‘One country, two systems’, preserving the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong long-term and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of residents of Hong Kong«
However, it remains to be seen how the law will be enacted in the city, although Hong Kong media have pointed out that it will probably be done through its publication in a local official bulletin.
Its approval in May led to new protests in the city, where both lawyers and civil society organizations consider that it will violate the legal channels for the modification of the regulations of the Basic Law of Hong Kong.
This – considered the « mini-constitution » of the semi-autonomous city – stipulates that the former British colony must endow with security legislation, the debate of which already provoked significant opposition on the streets in 2003 for fear that it would result in a major cut. of freedoms, a fact that forced the Hong Kong authorities to park her.
This caused the special administrative region to be devoid of legislation that criminalized the aforementioned assumptions, especially those related to « foreign interference » that so much worries the communist regime.
In fact, over the past year the Peking Government has repeatedly targeted Washington as the black hand behind the protests.
In this case, China seeks inclusion of this call « national security law of Hong Kong« in the third annex of the Basic Law instead of submitting it for review in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, which will hold elections next September.