What is Hong Kong New Security Law?
On June 30, China passed a controversial national security law for Hong Kong that lends Beijing sweeping new powers over the semi-autonomous city.
A brief historical background
What does New Security Law mean for Hong Kongers?
What would the Mainland Chinese do under the new law?
- Beijing will establish a national security office in Hong Kong staffed by mainland officials. They will oversee enforcement of the law, and their actions will not be subject to Hong Kong jurisdiction.
- The Hong Kong government will set up its own national security committee, with a Beijing-appointed adviser. Their decisions cannot be legally challenged.
- Hong Kong courts will oversee national security cases, but Beijing can take over cases in special circumstances.
- If a case involves “state secrets or public order,” it will face a closed-door trial with no jury.
- This law trumps local ones.
- The law applies to “any person” in Hong Kong and even applies to foreign nationals violating the law overseas — meaning they could be charged if they ever visit the city.
Reactions from other countries
Critics say China’s law ends freedoms that were guaranteed for 50 years when British rule ended in 1997.
“The law is a brutal, sweeping crackdown against the people of Hong Kong, intended to destroy the freedoms they were promised,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the passing of the law was a “clear and serious breach” of the 1985 Sino-British joint declaration. The UK has offered a residency, and then citizenship, to up to three million Hong Kongers.
The US House of Representatives has approved new Hong Kong-related sanctions after Beijing imposed a security law that was condemned by countries around the world. The measure, which was passed unanimously, penalizes banks that do business with Chinese officials. It will have to be approved by the Senate before going to President Trump.
Australia is also “actively considering” offering safe haven to Hong Kong residents – with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying there were proposals that will “soon be considered by cabinet”.
At the United Nations this week, Cuba – on behalf of 53 countries – welcomed the law.
Speaking at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, it said: “Non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states is an essential principle enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
“We believe every country has the right to safeguard its national security through legislation and commend relevant steps taken for this purpose.”