Controversy erupts over Beijing's new proposed security law for Hong Kong | Mapped

China introduces new security bill in parliament to tighten controls over Hong Kong

Proving its word worthless, Beijing is moving to crush Hong Kong's liberties 27 years ahead of schedule, in blatant violation of the deal that saw Britain hand rule of the city over to the mainland.

Beijing has increasingly pushed for measures such as punishment for disrespecting the Chinese national flag and anthem and increased pro-China patriotic-themed education in schools, but opposition in Hong Kong's Legislative Council makes it unlikely a national security bill could pass at the local level. Put simply, it will criminalize protest and dissent, treating it as subversion, treason or foreign interference - and allowing mainland officials to "legally" crack down on whatever the hell they want.

Around this time a year ago, criticism was mounting in Hong Kong over a proposed bill that would allow people wanted by the Chinese authorities to be sent to the mainland. He called on all "allies from around the world to support Hong people against the national security law that erodes our basic and fundamental freedom".

Over the a year ago, the CCP and its puppets have quashed Hong Kong's anti-regime booksellers, arrested many top democracy advocates (such as barrister Martin Lee and media tycoon Jimmy Lai) and made it a crime to insult the national anthem.

Pro-democracy activists fear that China pushing through the law could mean "the end of Hong Kong" - that is, the effective end of its autonomy and these freedoms.

The move by China's Government, with legislation to be written in Beijing and introduced essentially by decree, is the most historic intervention in "one country, two systems" since the 1997 handover. "It has always been clear that most protests in Hong Kong are driven by Beijing's interference that weakens Hong Kong's autonomy and the rule of law". In reaction, the Hong Kong stock market closed down more than 5%.

The United States also maintains export control offices and academic exchanges in Hong Kong separate from mainland China.

"Any decision impinging on Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory", Pompeo said in a statement Friday.

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A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry's office of the commissioner to Hong Kong said in a statement Pompeo's actions can not scare the Chinese people and that Beijing will safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.

Former Hong Kong leader C.Y. Leung defended the move in an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

The proposed legislation would permit Beijing to sidestep Hong Kong's own legislative body to limit protests or other activities that Beijing's authoritarian rulers consider subversive.

The drastic move caused jitters across Hong Kong, among ordinary Hong Kongers and the business community.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong - the largest pro-establishment group in Hong Kong - said it welcomes and fully supports the proposal. Hong Kong's investment in the United States rose $3.5 billion in 2018 to $16.9 billion.

Now Lam is arguing in lockstep with Beijing's talking points, saying that the new law is necessary for security and is in the interest of all Hong Kong residents.

Experts say the aggressive move comes at at a time when China is in a stronger position relative to much of the rest of the world struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The last time the local government attempted to introduce such laws in 2003 it triggered such widespread protests the bill was shelved.

"When they lose control of the legislature, they can still pass laws". Up to now, the worst charge most arrested protesters have faced has been for rioting. This is against the Basic Law, no doubt about it.

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