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World Hong Kong Security Plan Is Approved, Tightening China's Hold

03:36  29 may  2020
03:36  29 may  2020 Source:   nytimes.com

Beijing wants to present a "national security protection" law in Hong Kong

 Beijing wants to present a © REUTERS / Thomas Peter A giant screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping during the opening session of the National People's Congress on May 21 2020. The annual National People's Congress opens this Friday in Beijing with a little delay due to Coronavirus. However, it should be talked about, since a law on "protecting national security" in Hong Kong should be introduced.

China Approves Plan to Rein In Hong Kong , Defying Worldwide Outcry. Beijing ordered that a new law be written to extend many of mainland China ’ s The Standing Committee of China ’ s legislature is writing the new rules on its own, without consulting Hong Kong experts. Once the legislation is written

China ' s planned security law for Hong Kong , and rising tensions with the United States, threatens to sour As China tightens grip on Hong Kong , how will U.S. respond? In Hong Kong , demonstrators have grown increasingly violent Hong Kong Security Plan Is Approved , Tightening China ' s Hold .

BEIJING — China officially has the broad power to quash unrest in Hong Kong, as the country’s legislature on Thursday nearly unanimously approved a plan to suppress subversion, secession, terrorism and seemingly any acts that might threaten national security in the semiautonomous city.

Horror in Hong Kong after Beijing's announcement to impose national security law

 Horror in Hong Kong after Beijing's announcement to impose national security law © REUTERS / Tyrone Siu Activists protest new security laws in Hong Kong, China, May 22, 2020. Tired of demanding the adoption of national security laws according to local procedures, Beijing announced its intention to parachute into the Hong Kong Constitution laws on measures destined to quell any protests. Reactions to Hong Kong and explanations of what lies behind this Beijing announcement.

China ' s parliament approved a decision on Thursday to go forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong that democracy activists in the city and Western countries fear could endanger its special autonomy and freedoms. Libby Hogan reports.

Hong Kong ’ s leader, Carrie Lam, holding a news conference on Friday. Credit Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times. The rules would take direct aim The legislation has evoked fear that the Communist Party is undermining the freedoms that Hong Kong has enjoyed since China reclaimed the region

As Beijing hashes out the specifics of the national security legislation in the coming weeks, the final rules will help determine the fate of Hong Kong, including how much of the city’s autonomy will be preserved or how much Beijing will tighten its grip.

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Early signals from the Chinese authorities point to a crackdown once the law takes effect, which is expected by September.

Activist groups could be banned. Courts could impose long jail sentences for national security violations. China’s feared security agencies could operate openly in the city.

China in turn threatens the USA with reprisals on Hong Kong

 China in turn threatens the USA with reprisals on Hong Kong HONG-KONG-CHINA-PROTESTATION: China in turn threatens the USA with reprisals on Hong Kong © Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins CHINA THREATS ON IT USA REPRESSIBLES ON HONG KONG BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Monday threatened the United States with retaliation for threats of US sanctions over a Chinese national security bill in Hong Kong.

China ' s parliament approves Hong Kong security law. BEIJING — China officially has the broad power to quash unrest in Hong Kong , as the country’s legislature on Thursday nearly unanimously approved a plan to suppress subversion, secession, terrorism and seemingly any acts that might

China ’ s lawmakers approve Hong Kong security legislation. It was anything but an ordinary afternoon for Hong Kong stocks as Chinese lawmakers approved a controversial plan to impose national security legislation for the city.

Even Hong Kong’s chief executive this week appeared to hint that certain civil liberties might not be an enduring feature of Hong Kong life. “We are a very free society, so for the time being, people have the freedom to say whatever they want to say,” said the chief executive, Carrie Lam, noting, “Rights and freedoms are not absolute.”

The prospect of a national security law has prompted an immediate pushback in Hong Kong, where protesters are once again taking to the streets. The international community, too, has warned against infringing on the city’s civil liberties.

The Trump administration signaled Wednesday that it was likely to end some or all of the U.S. government’s special trade and economic relations with Hong Kong because of China’s move. The State Department no longer considers Hong Kong to have significant autonomy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, a condition for maintaining the trade status.

Hong Kong: Why the national security law revives old resentments with China

 Hong Kong: Why the national security law revives old resentments with China The demonstrations against the national security bill, launched by the Chinese Communist Party, remind others, also linked to the article 23 of the Constitution, at the heart of the conflict between Hong Kong and China © Vincent Yu / AP / SIPA Protesters in Hong Kong on May 24, 2020.

China ' s legislature has approved a proposal to impose a highly contentious national security law in Hong Kong , in an unprecedented move that critics say threatens fundamental political freedoms and civil liberties in the semi-autonomous territory.

China ' s National People's Congress approved the proposal to impose new national security legislation for Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China that is ruled under a "one country, two But protesters took to the streets over the weekend after Beijing announce its plans for a new national

China’s premier, Li Keqiang, tried to strike an optimistic note about the national security law, saying on Thursday that it would provide for the “steady implementation of the ‘one country, two systems’” political framework that has enshrined Hong Kong’s relative autonomy since the territory was reclaimed by China in 1997. The rules, the premier said at the conclusion of the annual session of the legislature, the National People’s Congress, would protect “Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.”

Mr. Li also refrained from accusing the United States of any interference in Hong Kong affairs. But just as he was talking, the Hong Kong office of China’s foreign ministry warned of “strong countermeasures” against the United States should it proceed — echoing denunciations by prominent Chinese commentators.

Clues on the coming security law can be found in earlier templates: a 2003 bill in Hong Kong that was thwarted by protests, and a law in another semiautonomous Chinese city, Macau.

Both contained broadly worded bans on sedition, subversion, secession and treason, while also enhancing law enforcement powers. The Hong Kong legislation would have allowed raids without warrants if the police believed national security would be jeopardized by waiting for a judge — the prospect of which drew vast crowds of peaceful protesters.

Unsurprisingly, Beijing adopts the national security bill in Hong Kong

 Unsurprisingly, Beijing adopts the national security bill in Hong Kong © Carlos Garcia Rawlins, REUTERS The results of the vote on the national security bill in Hong Kong, in the Chinese Parliament in Beijing, the May 28, 2020. The Chinese parliament passed the controversial Hong Kong national security bill on Thursday in response to last year's massive protest movement in the former British colony. It was with an overwhelming majority that the Chinese Parliament approved, Thursday, May 28, the national security bill to Hong Kong .

By Jessie Pang and Yew Lun Tian. HONG KONG /BEIJING (Reuters) - China ' s parliament, the National People's Congress, approved a decision on Thursday to go forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong that democracy activists in the city and Western countries fear could undermine its

(Bloomberg) -- It was anything but an ordinary afternoon for Hong Kong stocks as Chinese lawmakers approved a controversial plan to impose national security legislation for the city. The Hang Seng Index plunged as much as 2.2% before erasing all its losses. A rally for Chinese companies spurred

Both bills also made it easier for the authorities to win national security cases in court. The Macau legislation, for example, bars judges with foreign citizenship from serving on panels hearing national security cases. Hong Kong’s courts have long relied heavily on judges who have moved to the city from the British Commonwealth but retain passports from their home countries.

The legislation in Macau, a former Portuguese colony, has gone essentially unused for the past 11 years since its passage. The authorities there have preferred to take measures against occasional protests under statutes that attract less attention. But Macau’s government, unlike Hong Kong’s, has not faced a broad-based democracy movement that has attracted international sympathy.

Hong Kong’s political framework doesn’t offer much relief from the new law. The framework, specified in the city’s Basic Law and the Bill of Rights, provides broad protections for civil liberties. But a big exemption exists for the sort of national security legislation that Beijing is now drafting.

Both pieces of the framework draw on the language in the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The covenant has six different clauses allowing rights to be restricted if national security is at risk.

Hong Kong: Washington requests a meeting of the UN Security Council, Beijing refuses

 Hong Kong: Washington requests a meeting of the UN Security Council, Beijing refuses © Tyrone Siu, Reuters Pro-democracy demonstrators detained by the police in Hong Kong, May 27, 2020. The United States has demanded Wednesday the immediate holding of a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the security bill that Beijing wants to impose on Hong Kong. China, through its ambassador to the UN, rejected the request. The United States asked Wednesday May 27 for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on a controversial security law wanted by Beijing for Hong Kong .

“If you do not plan to engage in acts of secession, subversion, terrorism or conspiring with foreign influence in connection with Hong Kong affairs, you will have no reason to fear,” Tung Chee-hwa, who was the city’s chief executive at the time of the 2003 national legislation, said on Monday.

The process for drafting and enacting the new law is prompting concerns.

The Standing Committee of China’s legislature is writing the new rules on its own, without consulting Hong Kong experts. Once the legislation is written, the Beijing-appointed leadership of Hong Kong is required to put it into law immediately.

“Since this is the legislative work of the Central Government, I am afraid that there will be no public consultation in Hong Kong,” Mrs. Lam said on Tuesday.

Some pro-democracy lawyers have questioned whether Beijing’s process for issuing the law is constitutional. But Hong Kong designates the Chinese government as the final arbiter on constitutional questions in the territory.

The current plan for national security laws is considerably broader than the 2003 bill. For starters, it calls for a ban on terrorism.

Chinese officials have given no hint of how terrorism will be defined. But the same committee that will draft the Hong Kong rules issued antiterrorism laws in mainland China four years ago with very broad prohibitions.

Amendments in late 2015 to the mainland’s criminal law provisions regarding terrorism include long jail sentences for “whoever propagates terrorism or extremism by way of preparing or distributing books, audio and video materials or other items that propagate terrorism or extremism or by way of teaching or releasing information.”

Hong Kong: Lam denounces the double language of foreign governments

 Hong Kong: Lam denounces the double language of foreign governments HONG-KONG-EVENTS-PHOTO-TV: Hong Kong: Lam denounces the double language of foreign governments © Reuters / Tyrone Siu HONG KONG: LAM DENOUNCES THE DOUBLE LANGUAGE OF FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong executive chief Carrie Lam has accused foreign governments of double talk in China's plans to toughen semi-homeland security laws autonomous, highlighting the violent demonstrations which are shaking the United States.

The latest national security plan also widens the definition of subversion.

The 2003 bill was aimed at subversion against the “Central People’s Government.” That would have included government agencies under China’s cabinet, known as the State Council, said Albert Chen, a Hong Kong University law professor who advises Beijing on constitutional issues. But it is less clear whether it would have encompassed acts against the Chinese Communist Party.

By contrast, the new plan might, because it prohibits actions against “state power.” That term may include the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, Mr. Chen said, noting that the leadership is enshrined in the Constitution.

Tens of thousands of people, and sometimes hundreds of thousands, gather each year at Victoria Park on June 4 to commemorate those who died in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. They often shout slogans against the Communist Party.

Lau Siu-kai, a former senior Hong Kong government official who now advises Beijing, said that the new legislation might not ban such speech. But it would likely bar activities that were organized by “anti-Beijing political groups.” Hong Kong already has a law blocking groups that advocate independence.

Thursday’s resolution calls for the drafting of legislation allowing mainland Chinese security agencies to operate “as necessary” in Hong Kong. Mr. Lau said that this meant the Ministry of Public Security, China’s main police and border control agency, and the Ministry of State Security, China’s main spy agency, would be allowed to open offices in Hong Kong to conduct investigations and gather intelligence.

But Beijing will still rely on the Hong Kong police and prosecutors to make arrests and charge offenders, he said. Mrs. Lam said that the Hong Kong police would remain “primarily” responsible for law enforcement.

The wild card in the new rules could be international pushback.

Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States issued a joint statement on Thursday strongly criticizing the planned law, saying it would “dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous.”

The move, they said, “raises the prospect of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes, and undermines existing commitments to protect the rights of Hong Kong people.” The countries pointedly accused China of breaking the legal promises it had made to Britain in order to reclaim Hong Kong.

Dominic Raab, the British foreign secretary, said in a video statement Thursday that if China followed through with its plan, Britain would make it easier for British nationals who were Hong Kong residents before the handover, and now hold British national overseas passports, to become British citizens.

Britain would “set in train arrangements which allow them to come to the U.K. for longer than the current six-month period and to apply for extendable periods of 12 months to work and study,” Mr. Raab said, “which itself will provide a pathway to citizenship.”

Mr. Lau said that if the United States took strong action, it would only reinforce Beijing’s concerns that foreign powers were using the city to undermine China’s national security. American measures may prompt the Standing Committee to write even more stringent legislation this summer, he added.

“If they push hard,” Mr. Lau said, “it may change for the worse rather than the better.”

Beijing calls on London to end all interference in Hong Kong .
© AFP - screenshot of the British Parliament The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab raises the issue of Hong Kong in parliament on May 2, 2020. The The United Kingdom was ordered by China on Wednesday to "immediately cease all interference" in Hong Kong affairs after London called not to impose a controversial national security law in the autonomous territory. The Chinese government is not one of those who let its internal policy dictate.

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