Daily Management Review

Controversial New Security Law For Hong Kong Passed By China


Controversial New Security Law For Hong Kong Passed By China
The controversial national security legislation for Hong Kong was reportedly passed by China's parliament which, according to Chinese authorities, is a necessary tool to address the issues of terrorism, subversion and foreign interference in the semi-autonomous city. Critics of the new law however have been saying that it will effectively outlaw dissent and destroy the autonomy and freedoms that were promised to the people of Hong Kong when it was handed over to the Chinese by the British in 1997.
According to multiple media reports in Hong Kong citing unnamed sources, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed the bill unanimously at a three-day meeting that began on Sunday. China has not made public the draft of the new law.
No comment on the new law was made by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam at her weekly news conference on Tuesday.
The new law will become enforceable after it is gazetted in Hong Kong. The new law completely bypassed the semi-autonomous territory's own legislature. It is expected to come into force from July 1st which is also the anniversary of the handing over of Hong Kong to China.
According to reports, the Chinese government had fast tracked the passage of the new law. It has been defined as being very symbolic since it has been passed just a day before the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain back to mainland China. Analysts see this as a way of China letting people know that China is actually in charge of Hong Kong.  
It was about a year ago that massive protests, some of which also turned violent, had started in Hong Kong, initially in protest of a controversial extradition law to Mainland China which later transformed into a movement for democracy. Analysts say that the new bill was also intentionally timed by China as it announced the plans of imposing the legislation on the eve of the National People's Congress last month.
There were renewed protests in Hong Kong following that announcement. The previous pro democracy protests in the city had been subdued by the novel coronavirus pandemic as people refrained from gathering in numbers.
"The fact that the Chinese authorities have passed this law without the people of Hong Kong being able to see it tells you a lot about their intentions," Joshua Rosenzweig, head of Amnesty International's China team, said in a statement. "Their aim is to govern Hong Kong through fear from this point forward."
Joshua Wong, a leading activist of Hong Kong, announced just a few hours after news filtered out that the new law had been passed by the Chinese parliament that he would be resigning as leader of pro-democracy group Demosisto and would continue his fight privately.
The legislation marked "the end of the Hong Kong that the world knew before. From now on, Hong Kong enters a new era of reign of terror. With sweeping powers and ill-defined law the city will turn into a secret police state," he said on the social media.