BEIJING | The chinese parliament adopted Thursday a controversial provision on national security to Hong Kong, in response to last year’s protests in the former british colony, despite the threat of u.s. sanctions.
Not surprisingly, the nearly 3,000 deputies to the national people’s Assembly (ANP), have adopted the measure, which has already resulted in a surge of unrest in the autonomous region of southern China.
Only one member voted against and six abstained. The vote was greeted by long applause in the solemn framework of the Palace of the people in Beijing, in the presence of president Xi Jinping.
The democratic opponents to the influence of Beijing in the territory say that the measure opens the way to an unprecedented regression of freedoms in the financial metropolis of 7 million inhabitants.
“This is the end of Hong Kong”, summarized for the AFP Claudia Mo, member of parliament, pro-democracy legislative Council in hong kong. “From now on, Hong Kong will be a chinese city like any other”.
In the camp pro-Beijing, his colleague Martin Liao has, however, welcomed the vote of the national parliament: “This decision does not prejudice the rights and freedoms enjoyed by hong Kong people. On the contrary, it will help Hong Kong, in the long term, to get rid of the violence and chaos”.
While the unrest was settled in recent months of measures taken against the epidemic of COVID-19, thousands of protesters again took to the streets Sunday to protest against the bill, announced only three days earlier, before being dispersed by the police.
The provision gives a mandate to the standing Committee of the NPA in preparing a draft law which will be incorporated in the mini-constitution of Hong Kong, circumventing the vote of the legislative Council and local.
This act will “prevent, stop and punish any action that poses a serious threat to national security, such as separatism, subversion, preparation or commission of terrorist activities, as well as the activities of foreign forces which constitute an interference in the affairs” of Hong Kong, according to the project submitted to the ANP.
The communist regime was accused on several occasions in the last year of the “foreign forces”, notably in the us, of fomenting the unrest in Hong Kong. He also accused the protesters radicals to engage in “terrorist activities”.
The accusation of “subversion” and is frequently used by Beijing to condemn opponents.
The standing Committee of the PNA could get a handle on the text as early as June and the draft law be adopted at the end of August, according to the site NPC Observe, a specialist in arcane legislative chinese.
The project also plans to allow agencies under the central government to open in Hong Kong antennas that are competent in matters of national security.
In the opinion of the opponents, the text signals the end of the principle of “One country, two systems” that governs the relations between Hong Kong and Beijing since the handover of the territory to China in 1997.
The future of the great financial center of the asian there is also the concern in the rest of the world, particularly in the United States, where, without waiting for the vote of the chinese parliament, the administration Trump has paved the way for economic sanctions against Hong Kong.
The head of american diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, announced Wednesday at the Conference that he did over the territory as autonomous vis-à-vis Beijing.
“No sensible person can argue today that Hong Kong retains a high degree of autonomy from China”, he said.
Specifically, the administration of Donald Trump can now put an end to the status of preferential trade granted to the ex-british colony. But it has not yet said if it would put this threat in execution.
Washington has, in any case, requested on Wednesday an emergency meeting of the security Council of the united nations on Hong Kong. China has refused.
On the spot, the police of Hong Kong has proceeded on Wednesday to hundreds of arrests to deter activists pro-democracy demonstrate against the consideration of another draft law criminalizing insults to the chinese national anthem.
The chinese Parliament has pronounced on the last day of its plenary session, the grand annual mass of communist power, reduced this year to seven days because of the COVID-19. The rest of the year, its standing Committee, which has 175 members, is responsible for legislation.