Hong Kong to Draft Its Own “National Security” Law | Politics News

Leader Carrie Lam told the new legislature “for patriots only” that the move will ensure the territory complies with Article 23 of its mini-constitution.

Hong Kong plans to create a slew of new national security crimes, the Chinese-ruled city leader said on Wednesday, as she presided over the first session of a new legislature that rules out political opposition.

The current National Security Law was imposed in June 2020 following the mass protests of the previous year and prohibits what Beijing sees as secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.

Hundreds – from journalists and academics, activists and lawmakers – were caught in the crackdown that followed as some fled into exile abroad. Amnesty International says the law “decimated” Hong Kong’s freedoms, which Beijing promised to uphold for at least 50 years when the territory returned to its control in 1997.

Speaking to the city’s new legislature on Wednesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam confirmed that her government would draft “local legislation” in line with Article 23 of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, which calls on the city to pass its laws. own national security laws.

Lawmakers inside the Legislative Council under symbols for China and Hong Kong at the start of the first session of a new “Patriots only” legislature [Peter Parks/AFP]

Lam did not specify which offenses could be included, but Article 23 lists treason, secession, sedition, subversion, and the theft of state secrets.

This also includes the prohibition on any foreign political organization from carrying out political activities in Hong Kong or on any local political organization establishing links with foreign political bodies.

Beijing had previously said it was forced to introduce national security legislation because Hong Kong itself was unable to do so. A previous attempt to introduce the legislation in 2003 was abandoned following mass protests, fearing that the freedoms of the territory were endangered.

Security Secretary Chris Tang, the former police chief, told the English-speaking South China Morning Post in an interview last September that the time was “ripe” for the implementation of Article 23 and that combating “an obvious increase in espionage activities at group level” would be at the heart of the legislation.

The legislature is the first to meet under electoral rules imposed by China to ensure that only “patriots” can hold political office in Hong Kong.

Turnout in the election, held in December, fell to an all-time high.

Comments are closed.