Outrage in Hong Kong after Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law

Indignation à Hong Kong après la décision de Beijing d'imposer une loi sur la sécurité nationale

HONG KONG | China’s decision to impose on Hong Kong, a law on “national security” is one of the worst attacks against the autonomy of the territory, have thundered on Friday, activists pro-democracy who call the population to take to the streets to express their outrage.

This proposed safety act, which aims to prohibit “treason, secession, sedition and subversion”, was filed Friday morning with the opening of the annual session of the national people’s Assembly (ANP), the chinese Parliament.

This text comes after the repeated warnings of the communist chinese against any dissent in Hong Kong, shaken last year by seven months of demonstrations in favour of democracy.

“This is the end of Hong Kong, the end (of the principle) “One country, two systems”, do not be deceived”, was launched to the press the deputy pro-democracy Dennis Kwok.

Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 under an agreement that guarantees to the territory for 50 years, an autonomy and freedom unknown in the rest of the country, according to the principle of “One country, two systems”.

For the activist, Joshua Wong, figure of the Movement of umbrellas in 2014, the message sent by China to pro-democracy protesters leaves no room for doubt. “Beijing tries to silence by force and fear the voices of hong Kong people who criticize,” said Mr. Wong on Twitter.

Very quickly, on the discussion forums and messaging used by the pro-democracy movement, the protests have multiplied.

“Given a choice”

This announcement from Beijing could revive the anger of hong Kong after months of calm, in part because of measures taken to stem the outbreak of coronavirus.

“The people of Hong Kong will face a choice about their future”, said a message calling on the application Telegram, hong Kong people to gather on Sunday.

Last year, a broad pro-democracy movement had shaken the ex-british colony, directed against the stranglehold found growing in Beijing.

For activists, this bill, if passed, this would be one of the most important infringements of the freedoms of Hong Kong since 1997.

According to the mpp pro-democracy hong kong Tanya Chan, Beijing does not “shows no respect for the people of Hong Kong”. “A lot of hong Kong people must be so angry that we now, but we have to remember not to give up”, she started.

The announcement on Thursday evening of the bill, few details have been disclosed, only the fact that it would strengthen the “enforcement mechanisms” in terms of “protecting national security”.

Article 23 of the “basic Law”, which is used in the last two decades of the Constitution to the territory’s semi-autonomous, requires that the region adopts a law prohibiting “treason, secession, sedition and subversion”.

Risk of “destabilization”

However, it has never been applied, a large part of the population in hong kong saw it as a threat to its freedoms.

The attempt to adopt a law on anti-subversion at the local level, in 2003, had failed after huge demonstrations in the streets of this territory of nearly 7.5 million people.

According to Joshua Wong and other activists, Beijing’s decision to adopt this text by the chinese Parliament is a way to bypass the Parliament in hong kong.

The spokesman of american diplomacy Morgan Ortagus has warned against the risk of “destabilization” that could lead to this text. The american president Donald Trump has promised to respond if necessary “very strong”.

On Thursday, us senators have introduced a bill to impose sanctions against any entity which would restrict the autonomy of the territory.

Chris Patten, the last british governor of Hong Kong before its handover in 1997, it was estimated that this proposal is a “huge infringement of the autonomy of the city (…) extremely damaging.”

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