China has approved a controversial national security law that would allow Chinese authorities to crack down on subversive and separatist activities in Hong Kong.
According to the details, China’s state news agency said that Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a presidential decree on national security law after it was approved by a standing committee of the National People’s Congress.
The law will be incorporated into the Hong Kong Constitution.
Some details were provided, but China’s liaison office in Hong Kong issued a statement warning opponents of the law not to take the party centre’s commitment to protect Hong Kong’s national security lightly.
“We hope the law will be effective in preventing people from causing trouble,” said Tam Yiu-Chung, Hong Kong’s sole representative on the standing committee.
“Don’t let Hong Kong be used as a tool to divide the country,” he said.
He said the sentences did not include the death penalty but gave no further details.
It should be noted that after the signing of the presidential order, Taiwan has also expressed concern.
Beijing claims to have brought it to power by force if necessary.
The island’s mainland affairs council said democracy and freedom were common world values of Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The law was criticized by Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.
A joint statement issued by the four countries sharply criticized the “National Security Bill” which would allow Chinese security agencies to conduct open operations in Hong Kong.
The United Kingdom has hinted at granting citizenship to Hong Kong citizens in response to China’s enforcement of national security law in Hong Kong.
China had warned Britain that it would retaliate if it intervened in Hong Kong.
It may be recalled that the city was handed over to China by the United Kingdom in 1991 and since then China has ruled here under the framework of ‘One Country, Two Systems’.
The Chinese government had introduced the law in the National People’s Congress, about which the spokesman of the parliament had said that this law would strengthen the ‘implementation of the mechanism’ in the city which is called the stronghold of finance.
The day before the law was passed, the United States had abolished Hong Kong’s special status under its own laws, paving the way for the city to end trade concessions as the United States seeks to end its sovereignty over China.