China’s proposed security law regarding Hong Kong has created Global controversy, due to the threat that it may compromise the city’s freedom.
The controversial law is not yet in operation and thousands have taking to the streets in protest. On Thursday, The National people’s Congress in China gave the bill the go ahead after voting.
The legislation would ban any acts that China deems as endangering its national security including terrorism, subversion, and foreign interventions. It is feared that this law could be used to allow China to embed its own intelligence agencies in Hong Kong and prevent any defiance against China.
China aims to bypass Hong Kong’s legislature and thus push the law through without allowing opportunity for public debate. Legal experts have deemed this move as unconstitutional and the inclusion of the “acts and activities” that undermine Chinese national security are not clearly defined.
There are fears that they may be used to prevent Hong Kong citizens from taking part in protest in any form. The inclusion of a ban on “foreign interference” may prevent the Hong Kong government from appealing for foreign intervention.
Hong Kong has maintained its own economic and governing systems separate from China under the “one country, two nations” system in a century-long division. Foreign secretary Dominic Raab believes the proposed legislation will “dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy” and impinge on the Hong Kong people’s liberties.
It is estimated that it will take about three months to put the law into effect and its sudden implementation is a reaction to Hong Kong’s increasing protests against China’s interference in their autonomy.
The US has been vocal in its censure of the proposed law and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed his concern that the law would seriously undermine Hong Kong’s “autonomy and freedoms”. These sentiments have been echoed by Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Riot police ready themselves across the city to prepare for the possibility of violent protests to the proposed legislation, amidst fears that this may be the beginning of the end of Hong Kong’s prosperous autonomy from China.
Emigration is expected to increase from Hong Kong as many of its wealthier citizens begin transferring their funds to safe places to prevent the Chinese government appropriating their wealth.
EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss the impending crisis in Hing Kong on Friday.