HONG KONG | Less than 24 hours. A protester carries a flag in favour of the independence of Hong Kong has become on Wednesday the first person arrested in the territory under the national security act imposed on the eve by Beijing to the former british colony.
In the aftermath of the historic vote, the chinese parliament, which raises fears of the end of autonomy in hong kong, the police dispersed by using a water cannon of small groups of protesters gathered in the heart of the financial metropolis, which marked the 23rd anniversary of his attachment to China.
A major police operation was deployed through the streets of the city while the event to which to take traditionally share the hong Kong people on the occasion of this anniversary was, for the first time, banned by the authorities.
Previously, a man who had landed on a sidewalk a black flag with the words “Independence of Hong Kong” in both chinese and English had been arrested, according to a photo released by the police.
The opposition in hong kong is concerned that the text is a fatal blow to the liberties and autonomy enjoyed by the territory since its handover on 1 July 1997 by the United Kingdom.
Wednesday morning, during the traditional flag raising ceremony which marked this anniversary, the head of the executive, the hong kong faithful in Beijing, Carrie Lam, welcomed this law which constitutes “the most important event in the relations between the central government and Hong Kong since the handover”.
Promulgated by the chinese president Xi Jinping, it helps to suppress four types of crimes against the security of the State: subversion, separatism, terrorism, and collusion with outside forces.
The law provides that chinese justice is competent for certain crimes, and reserve life in prison for the most serious crimes against national security.
“The promulgation of this law aims to fight against the very few criminals that seriously endanger the national security, and not the whole of the opposition”, said Wednesday in Beijing the deputy director of the Office for affairs of Hong Kong and Macao of the communist regime, Zhang Xiaomin.
The day before, in the wake of the adoption of this law, the chinese government was more comminatory, stating that “for members of the small minority that threatens the national security, this law will be a sword hanging above their heads”.
Many western countries, among which 27 members of the Council of Human rights of the UN, have condemned this text, fearing that it will lead to the repression of all political opposition.
For their part, the United States has threatened China with reprisals, promising not to “stand idly by”.
On Wednesday, Canada has warned its nationals in Hong Kong against a risk of “arbitrary detention” and extradition to mainland China.
For its part, Taiwan has announced the opening of a desk intended to accommodate the inhabitants of Hong Kong who wish to settle on the island.
“The logic of bandits”
Mr. Zhang has qualified for the States that threaten some chinese officials to the sanctions, to have a “logic of bandits”. Comments that are intended the United States.
The act came into force a little over a 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 is about ensuring stability, putting 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.
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.
Western governments express concern for the international status of the city, one of the leading financial centres in the world.