On Tuesday, the Chinese parliament voted for the Hong Kong National Security Act, which was also protested by a number of major powers, and experts say it will effectively end the city state’s autonomy vis-à-vis China.
Under the voted National Security Act, China can send Chinese judges to Hong Kong courts, Chinese violence organizations can open offices in the city, and intervene themselves if they find someone has violated national security law. Which is likely to take effect on July 1st. This will be symbolic because it will be 23 years just on July 1 that Hong Kong is back in China.
The Chinese action is also very worrying because in 1997 Hong Kong returned from British colonial rule in China by having to keep the principle of “one country, two systems” for 50 years, that is, to recognize the autonomy of the city-state. China defends itself that the law is aimed only at a small group of rioters and was passed only because of divisive aspirations, subversive activities, foreign interventions and terrorism.
In English, China can arrest anyone in Hong Kong if it just sees that person is violating any of the above.
The bill was barely seen by a few Hong Kong lawmakers before it was passed. Under the new law, elements that China says are renitent could be sentenced to life imprisonment, and any Hong Kong legislation that would be contrary to this was repealed.
Several great powers, but mostly the United States, are becoming increasingly tense about nurturing China because of similar actions as well. Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo recently called on China to close Uyghur concentration camps and stopped the arms trade with Hong Kong. In addition, all special economic and trade benefits with Hong Kong were withdrawn. And it’s not over here, Pompeo announced
introduce visa restrictions on Chinese politicians and officials who have been involved in the slow downsizing of Hong Kong’s independence.
China has responded by imposing visa restrictions on U.S. officials who “behave rudely” on certain local issues.