The Chinese parliament on Thursday approved the new security law for Hong Kong, a law that many believe could limit the freedoms of citizens of the city.
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The law, approved after almost a year of demonstrations stopped exclusively due to the coronavirus health crisis, according to Premier Li Keqiang was designed for steady implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle according to which the former British colony will be able to enjoy some rights not granted to citizens of mainland China.
According to critics, the law violates the Basic Law, the mini-constitution with which Hong Kong endowed itself in the transition to China.
As an immediate response to the Chinese decision to pass the law, the United States, under the voice of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has made it known that Hong Kong has lost its political autonomy. The city’s degree of political independence was somehow measured by the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act approved by the American parliament last year. According to this principle, if Hong Kong’s autonomy had been eroded, the city would have been equated with China, and therefore potentially also subject to American sanctions.
However, the United States was not the only country to react to the approval of the new law.
The British, Australian, Canadian governments, together with the American one, have issued a joint declaration where “deep concern” is expressed. According to this statement, “Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of freedom. The international community has a significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. Direct imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong by the Beijing authorities, rather than through Hong Kong’s own institutions as provided for under Article 23 of the Basic Law, would curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties. “
According to this statement, this law will only “exacerbate the deep divisions existing in Hong Kong society”.
According to German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass “Hong Kong’s autonomy should not be undermined, adding that its opinion is shared by the whole European Union.
“Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, as well as the democratic debate in Hong Kong, will have to be respected in the future”.
Japan too, through the words of the foreign minister, is deeply concerned by the recent decisions of the Chinese government: “Hong Kong is a key partner for Japan, with which Japan maintains close economic relations and social exchanges. [.. .] Japan will continue to closely monitor the development of the situation in Hong Kong. “
Taiwanese premier Tsai Ing-wen instead provided immediate support to the people of Hong Kong. In a recent tweet, Tsai said that a “humanitarian assistance action plan” will be adopted for citizens of Hong Kong, many of whom have already started emigrating to Taiwan.
Today I asked the Executive Yuan to draw up a humanitarian assistance action plan for #HongKong citizens that lays out clear, complete plans for their residence, placement, employment, & life in #Taiwan as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/XYBTe89WyD— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) May 27, 2020