The Chinese Communist officials drafted a national security law for Hong Kong, to be approved by China’s rubber-stamp parliament. This draft law was approved by the Chinese parliament on 28 May. Now, any action related to “secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign interference” is illegal and is subject to imprisonment in Hong Kong. This law also allows China to set up security agencies in Hong Kong to ensure its implementation.
What do Hongkongers think about the new law?
This is shocking to most Hongkongers. No one expected the Chinese Communist Party would bypass the Hong Kong legislature and impose its dictatorial might on Hongkongers. Hong Kong is a special administrative region with its semi-autonomous system running separately from the rest of China. This is Beijing’s new move to tighten its grip on Hong Kong.
We see this as a response to the political unrest in Hong Kong since June of last year. The unrest was triggered by an extradition law proposal which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited from Hong Kong’s jurisdiction to that of mainland China. As there is no independent judiciary in the mainland, Hongkongers were afraid that this extradition law would become a political tool to suppress basic freedoms in this special administrative region.
Now, the new national security law has more direct consequences for any critic of the Hong Kong Government and the Chinese Communist Party regime. One only has to recall how Chinese authorities imprisoned human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang – who took up sensitive cases of journalists, democracy advocates and followers of banned spiritual movements – for nearly five years for the crime of “subversion of state power.”
Western liberal democracies have rule of law and separation of powers to prevent such abuse of national security law. The People’s Republic of China has only one power, the Communist Party, that effectively controls the government, legislature, and judiciary, and the word of the Communist Party boss is the law.
Ask anyone who lived under the Iron Curtain, and they can immediately point out that those in power will not stop oppressing their political opponents until these voices are completely silenced.
There will also be people who will abuse this law to settle scores with their personal nemeses. Informing on a colleague, employer, landlord, business partner, creditor, debtor, romantic rival, and so forth can have very dire consequences for the victim – especially if the informant happens to be well connected to Chinese Communist Party or to China’s state security services. Hence, even those people who are entirely apolitical can easily become victims of this law. In other words, all Hongkongers will live under immense fear once this law has been implemented. This is the end of Hong Kong as we know it.Continue reading