HK society voices support for national security legislation for HKSAR

Saturday, 23 May, 2020

Activist Wong said he has "no doubts at all" Beijing "will continue to crack down on Hong Kong people who fight for democracy and freedom" and vowed protesters will take to the streets until their voices are heard.

United States lawmakers are pressing for tough action over Hong Kong, which has become the latest front in soaring tensions between Washington and Beijing, but even some supporters of the territory's democracy movement ask if the "nuclear option" would be effective.

US businesses oppose any change in Washington's recognition of Hong Kong as a sufficiently autonomous city, where major USA companies enjoy access to China and Southeast Asia, and where bilateral trade flourishes across various parts of the economy, from wine to financial services. "I find it hard to believe this will not trigger either a massive peaceful and orderly demonstration or more vocal and aggressive protests..."

China's officials have revealed they may directly set up special offices in Hong Kong to oversee the city's national security efforts.

"It is way worse than the extradition bill". "That is one of the reasons why we want to ensure that one-country, two-systems approach continues for Hong Kong".

They will not affect the legitimate rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents under the law, they added, calling on all Hong Kong residents to support the legislation. Over the past year, charges of rioting, illegal assembly, public obstruction among others have failed to dent the demonstrations.

HRW China Director Sophie Richardson said the move "manifestly marks the end of any pretense that the central government in Beijing is going to respect norms, practices or binding global treaties in Hong Kong". "Hong Kong people, resist!" before pro-establishment chairperson Starry Lee told them to leave the meeting room. "I know this is the end of Hong Kong, but it's also the beginning of the Hong Kong people".

Hong Kong's legal system and enforcement must be established and improved "at the state level", he said.

Making such a law on Hong Kong's behalf without the direct participation of its people, legislature or judiciary would clearly undermine the principle of "One Country, Two Systems", under which Hong Kong is guaranteed a high degree of autonomy.

President Trump should invoke that law if the Chinese measures take hold, as it will be clear that Hong Kong no longer has a genuinely separate system to protect.

Mr Pompeo's intervention is likely to infuriate the Chinese government, whose relations with the United States have been strained recently by disputes over trade and the coronavirus pandemic. It will reduce, if not completely erase, the legal firewall of sorts between mainland China and Hong Kong.

According to Prof Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute in London, China has came out of Covid-19 stronger than any other major economy.

Senator Marco Rubio, a prominent Trump ally, said that Hong Kong showed that China will "lie to get any deal".

Many said the move was a wake-up call that provided fresh impetus for the year-old anti-government movement that has largely stalled amid the COVID-19 pandemic and authorities' intensifying clampdown.

"Numerous American companies invest in Hong Kong because of its special status, its geographic location and market-based economic system", the U.S.

Observers believe the immediate effect of the law is likely to be more unrest.

But critics point to what they say are ambiguities inherent in such a law and the broad, generalist framework it would bring to a place which has a very different legal tradition than the communist-controlled mainland.