Crimes against national security will be punishable by life in prison in Hong Kong, where the chinese authorities will now be responsible for the more “serious” of them, according to a new law passed at the charge in Beijing, and qualified Wednesday as a “point of inflection between the chaos and good governance” by the head of the executive of the territory.
This legislation concern the opposition in hong kong a decline unprecedented freedoms since the handover of 1997 by the United Kingdom of this territory, which has a statute of autonomy, there also provides for the establishment by Beijing of the national security agency.
Sentenced the same day by 27 countries at the UN, including France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, after being granted by the european Union and the United States, accused by his critics of being an attempt to muzzle the opposition in Hong Kong, the law was passed Tuesday by the chinese president, Xi Jinping, after having been endorsed by the standing Committee of the Parliament, a proceeding submitted to the chinese communist Party (CCP).
“For members of the small minority that threatens the national security, this law will be a sword hanging over their head,” warned in the wake of the chinese government.
“The national security act is a point of inflection between the chaos and good governance,” said Wednesday the head of the executive, the hong kong faithful in Beijing, Carrie Lam, at a ceremony marking the 23rd anniversary of the return to China of the former british colony. According to her, this text constitutes “the most important event in the relations between the central government and Hong Kong since the handover”.
The act came into force as early as Tuesday, one year after the start of demonstrations in the former british colony against the influence of the central government. Chastened by these events, China will be imposed in only a few weeks this law that circumvents the legislative council of the local.
For Beijing, it comes up with this text to ensure the stability, to put an end to the vandalism that peppered the events of 2019 in the territory of 7.5 million people, as well as to suppress the current activist for the independence.
“This marks the end of Hong Kong as the world knew,” responded on Twitter Joshua Wong, one of the protagonists of the movement for democracy. “The city will turn into a #étatdepolicesecrète.”
Therefore, the party Demosisto, he founded with other activists in 2014, has announced its dissolution. This training was called in particular to the self-determination and could therefore potentially fall within the ambit of the new law.
National security agency
The text allows you to suppress the four types of crimes against the security of the State: subversive activities, secession, terrorism and the collusion with foreign forces to jeopardize the national security.
In this area, the mainland China can directly take charge of the records in three circumstances: if it is of complex cases of foreign interference, whether the cases are “very serious” and if “serious threats and actual” impact on the national security.
Beijing has repeatedly accused the western countries to throw oil on the fire in Hong Kong by supporting the protesters.
“Both the national security agency and [the authorities] Hong Kong may request to return the case in mainland China, and the prosecution will be incurred attorneys designated by the supreme people’s Procuratorate [chinese] and the trial held in a court designated by the supreme Court” of China, according to the text.
“The perpetrators of [crimes] are serious will be sentenced to life imprisonment or to a minimum of ten years of imprisonment”, always under the new legislation.
In addition, “the Hong Kong government has no authority over the national security agency in Hong Kong and its staff when they carry out their obligations under this act”.
It also points out that some of these cases may be considered to be closed if State secrets are at stake.
27 countries condemn
The decision to entrust to state agencies chinese prerogatives in this self-governing territory concerned strong local opposition, because the separation of powers does not exist in mainland China, led by the CPC.
For more than twenty years, Hong Kong enjoys a large degree of autonomy, under the principle of “One country, two systems”, its inhabitants enjoying the freedom of expression, freedom of the press and an independent judiciary.
Moreover, the fact that the content of the new law was made public only after the move has angered the opposition in hong kong.
It is”truly absurd,” thus insurgent Claudia Mo, a parliamentary local.
Western governments say their side is concern for the international status of the city, one of the leading financial centres in the world.
“Today is a sad day for Hong Kong, and for all the lovers of freedom in China,” said the american secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in a press release. “The United States will not remain idly by while China swallowed Hong Kong in his mouth and authoritarian”, he threatened.
Anticipating the vote, the United States had announced Monday the end of sales of defence equipment sensitive to Hong Kong, after having imposed the visa restrictions for chinese officials accused of “undermine” the autonomy of the territory.
The new law “will not undermine the judicial independence of Hong Kong and its high degree of autonomy, and will not harm the freedoms and rights of Hong Kong people,” retorted Wednesday, Carrie Lam, according to which the criticism of foreign governments are “defamatory attacks and malicious”.