We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
The new bill would criminalise any subversion of China’s authority. A similar bill was proposed in 2003 but was shelved after 500,000 Hong Kongers marched in protest to it and the government’s handling of the SARS pandemic, which lead to the resignation of CH Tung, the city’s first chief executive two years later. Joshua Wong, the secretary-general of Demosito, a pro-democracy political group, claimed he will become a “prime target” of the new law, although this has not been confirmed by any Chinese official.
He said in a statement sent to Express.co.uk: “The new law is the direct retaliation on Hongkongers’ international lobbying efforts over the past one year.
“I will be probably the prime target of the new law since many of Beijing’s officials have been criticising me for attending overseas hearings and telling the truth of autocratic oppression and police brutality to the world.
“A few days ago, the CCP’s [Chinese Communist Party] mouthpiece, CCTV, even named Nathan Law and me as the leaders behind the movement even though Hong Kong movements are well known as a leaderless movement.”
One of the stated aims of the bill is to end what China views as foreign collusion in Hong Kong, which Beijing has claimed his behind protests that started last year.
There were originally over a now shelved bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, but have since moved to protests in support for greater democratic freedoms.
Mr Wong said: “To fight for any slight hope of democracy under China’s authoritarian claws, we insist on not because we are strong, but because we have no other choice.
“We will continue our cause for democracy and international lobbying efforts since truth and justice should not die in silence.”
Hong Kong returned to Chinese control from the UK in 1997, when the 99 year less on the New Territories expired.
Though Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula were ceded in perpetuity, it was thought too impractical to separate the city and so all three parts were returned.
The UK and China signed the Joint Sino-British Declaration to prepare for the handover, which mandated Hong Kong would operate under one country, two systems until at least 2047., which means the city has a separate economic, political and legal system to mainland China.
Mr Wong views the law as a breach of the agreement: “To uphold autonomy and freedoms of the city, I call upon the world to stand with Hong Kong once again, and oppose this draconian law and urge China to honour its commitment under the One Country Two Systems framework.
“China is now scraping the promised autonomy in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a legally binding international treaty at the United Nations.
World War 3: US threatens sanctions on China over new security laws (ANALYSIS)
Hong Kong takeover: China could escalate violence – warning (LATEST)
Britain ready to welcome Hong Kong refugees (INSIGHT)
“This is the critical moment of the beginning of the end for every single citizen in Hong Kong. As one of the signatories, I call upon the UK government to stand with Hong Kong and hold a strong stance against the legislation of this draconian national security law.”
Though both the Hong Kong and Chinese governments have insisted the law will not affect investment in Hong Kong, the Han Seng stock market plunged 5.56 percent after the bill was announced.
Mr Wong says the law would harm the business environment of the city: “I also urge US, European and Asia’s leaders to reconsider whether Hong Kong’s special trade status can still be held since, once the law is implemented, Hong Kong will be assimilated into China’s authoritarian regime, on both rule of law and human rights protections.”
“In the past, Hong Kong has firewalls to fend off the political influence from China, such as guarantees of human rights protections, an independent judiciary and loose business regulations.
“These are the reasons why businesses choose Hong Kong as the destination of investment.
“However, the law will profoundly erode the city’s firewalls, especially when a Beijing-led secret police branch is to be set up, and when Beijing’s board definition of national security is imposed.
“In the past, China treated stock markets and the flow of capital as part of its national security.
“The proposed law is the stepping stone for its future intervention.”
Mr Wong also called for the EU to pass sanctions on China as the EU is now China’s biggest trading partner with China and Europe trading on average €1billion (£888.9million) a day.
The 23-year-old implored the EU to use its’ economic strength as leverage to induce China to commit to greater human rights and autonomy for Hong Kong in future trade negotiations.
Source: Read Full Article