China’s Parliament Approves Controversial National Security Law for Hong Kong

Grant Boone
May 28, 2020

Hong Kong was once compared with NY and London for its robust financial system and various other economic successes, a characteristic that elevated it enough to be considered one of the world's biggest commercial hubs.

The U.S., Australia, Canada, and United Kingdom said the law would "undermine" the agreement and "raises the prospect of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes, and undermines existing commitments to protect the rights of Hong Kong people".

This would mean Hong Kong would be treated the same as mainland China for trade and other purposes. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called for the legislation to be enacted without delay, and the bill has the support of leading Hong Kong politicians, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

But the relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong's residents has grown increasingly fraught in recent years, with the city periodically erupting into massive demonstration against what protesters and the USA call Beijing's attempts to encroach on its freedoms.

"While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself", Pompeo concluded, hopelessly. Many in Hong Kong fear China will use these provisions to intimidate and punish critics of the government.

"Hong Kong is now under much greater threat of intervention than it has been before, that's how I see it", said Humphrey, now an external research associate with Harvard University's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. "Today, I reported to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, given facts on the ground", Pompeo tweeted. More than 500 demonstrators have been detained over the past week, including many individuals carrying deadly weapons, law enforcement officials in the region have said.

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Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia in a joint statement said China's decision to impose the new national security law on Hong Kong lies in direct conflict with its global obligations under the principles of the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. And under the institutional arrangement of "one country, two systems", national legislation can be applied to Hong Kong in accordance with Annex III of the Basic Law of the SAR.

The secretary announced his decision at a time of heightened tensions between the US and China.

Now, that status appears in jeopardy with the Trump administration's reappraisal. In contrast, Beijing's ties with Washington have worsened.

"For Tokyo, China will continue to preach the virtues of deepening trade relations with Japan and continue to offer favorable conditions to Japanese businesses in the mainland", but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will "engage Beijing cautiously", Nagy said.

Japan is "clear-eyed that the turn towards hard digital authoritarianism is here to stay and that Beijing is bent on reshaping the region such that it is in a dominant position", he said.

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