China has approved the proposal for the Hong Kong security law that curtails its autonomy. The National’s People Congress approved the draft decision by a vote of 2,878-1. At the closing session of its annual parliamentary meeting in Beijing on Thursday. There has been a year of violent protests in Hong Kong since the territory was handed over to China from the United Kingdom in 1997. There have been many anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong towards the end of 2019.
However, Beijing has reassured the Hong Kong residents that the law will only affect a small targeted portion of Hong Kong.
What is the new security law?
The national security law for Hong Kong prohibits any kind of splittism, subversion, terrorism, any behavior that gravely threatens national security and foreign interference.
The security law is suppose to criminalise:
- secession – breaking away from China
- subversion – undermining the power or authority of the central government
- terrorism – using violence or intimidation against people
- activities by foreign forces that interfere in Hong Kong
Why is it controversial?
In the year 1997, Britain handed over Hong Kong back to China. However, under one agreement :
- Firstly, the introduction of a mini-constitution called the Basic Law.
- Secondly, the introduction of a framework known as “one country, two systems” that granted the Asian financial hub a high degree of autonomy for 50 years.
But this new legislation could be used by Beijing to undermine the city’s freedoms and bring it closer to the tight control exerted on the mainland.
After the announcement of the security law, street protesters are back onto the streets of Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Police have arrested over 300 protestors across the city on Wednesday.
Trump’s Response towards the security law
Donald Trump has announced that he will start to end special treatment for Hong Kong in trade and travel in response to a new security law. Trump described the introduction of the security law in Hong Kong as a “tragedy”.
“China has replaced One Country, Two Systems with One Country, One System. This is a tragedy for Hong Kong… China has smothered Hong Kong’s freedom.”