THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Beijing implemented a new national security law in Hong Kong on Monday after Chinese President Xi Jinping signed off. Citizens of Hong Kong have spoken out against the new law, saying it violates the “One Country, Two Systems” agreement implemented in 1997 when Hong Kong gained independence from Britain.
Under its own mini-constitution, Hong Kong was guaranteed many freedoms that mainland Chinese citizens lack, such as the freedom of speech and press, as well as the freedom to run for political office. Now, Beijing claims the right to punish anyone the government deems a threat to national security and to try them in Beijing courts instead of Hong Kong.
The full text of the law was released late Tuesday night, hours after going into effect. Many activists already disbanded their organizations and deleted their Twitter accounts, in fear of prosecution from Beijing. Official Chinese news outlets and Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Honk Kong, said the new legislation will further enhance the “one country, two systems” standard.
When the new security law was first introduced in late May, widespread pro-democracy protests erupted in Hong Kong. Beijing responded with pepper rounds and tear gas against protestors. That response pushed the U.S. to threaten to revoke Hong Kong’s special trade state as an autonomous country.
U.S. Halts High-Tech Exports to Hong Kong Over Security Concerns – The New York Times – 6/29/2020
But the export limitations announced Monday could have larger implications for some multinational companies, including some semiconductor firms, who now will be barred from sending products or sharing certain high-tech information with the territory. Some multinational companies that chose Hong Kong as a base for doing business with China have begun considering moves to other locations, including Singapore.
Controversial Hong Kong national security law comes into effect – The Guardian – 6/30/2020
Late on Tuesday, China unveiled the full text of the anti-sedition law, which targets the crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with penalties as severe as life in prison.“It is worse than one could have expected,” said Eric Cheung, a principal lecturer of law at the University of Hong Kong. “What constitutes ‘endangering national security’? It’s very broad. Basically, anything can amount to national security threats. No one will feel safe, even foreigners.
NBA Commissioner Hopes for ‘Mutual Respect’ with China after Hong Kong Row – National Review – 6/30/2020
Silver’s most recent comments came the same day that China enacted a new national security law that Hong Kong pro-democracy activists contend will effectively end the territory’s autonomy from the mainland. The law sanctions life-imprisonment for offenders, and democracy advocates have already begun to dissolve or cease operations within the territory.
The Costs and Consequences of the Hong Kong National Security Law – Cato Institute – 6/30/2020
The Hong Kong national security law deals a serious blow to the territory’s unique political freedoms and autonomy. The law is the culmination of Beijing’s efforts to assert greater control over Hong Kong, which has seen both a steady erosion of civil liberties and growing protests against Beijing’s control in recent years.
Marie Rimmer MP on Twitter, 6/30/2020: The Hong Kong security law marks the end of one country, two systems. It will be the end of Hong Kong as we know it unless the international community steps up.
Republic on Twitter, 6/30/2020: Taiwan President says China’s security law proved ‘one country, two systems’ not viable
China Xinhua News on Twitter, 6/30/2020: Opinion: Major move for greater success of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong
Sen. James Lankford on Twitter, 6/30/2020: One country, two systems. That doesn’t work when people don’t have the ability to speak freely, petition the government or peacefully protest. We started seeing this within minutes of the law being signed as pro-democracy leaders quit in fear of the new laws.
Pierre Paul-Hus on Twitter, 6/30/2020: Beijing’s unilateral imposition of the national security law on HK, not only blatantly breaches its international obligations under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, but also marks the end of so-called “One Country, Two Systems” #cdnpoli #taiwan