A new national security office has been officially established in Hong Kong and chinese agents have been placed for the first time.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that it was “actually relatively mild as far as national security laws are concerned” and would enable Hong Kongers to “exercise their rights and freedoms without being intimidated and attacked”.
The office has been temporarily established in a hotel in Causeway Bay, the commercial district next to Victoria Park.
Dignitaries including Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Zheng Yanxiong attended the opening ceremony of the office on Wednesday. Chinese flag was also hoisted. The event took place under heavy security.
Luo Huining, head of the existing Hong Kong-Beijing liaison office, said the office would be “the envoy for Hong Kong’s safety and is also the gatekeeper of national security”.
According to details, security agents from mainland China will be deployed in the new office. They will enjoy the power to investigate people for the first time for the wide range of crimes defined under the new law. They will also extradite them potentially to China for trial.
According to the international news agency, the following are the main points of the new security law.
- It is wide-ranging, making inciting hatred of China’s central government and Hong Kong’s regional government illegal
- Allows for closed-door trials, wire-tapping of suspects and the potential for suspects to be tried on the mainland
- A wide range of acts, including damaging public transport facilities, can be considered terrorism
- Internet providers might have to hand over data if requested by the police.