China has handed a controversial safety legislation giving it new powers over Hong Kong, deepening fears for the town’s freedoms, the BBC has realized.
Final month China introduced it will impose the legislation, which criminalises any act of secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with international forces.
The transfer comes after indignant protests final yr – sparked by one other legislation – which turned a pro-democracy motion.
Critics say the brand new legislation poses a fair larger menace to Hong Kong’s identification.
They warn it’ll undermine Hong Kong’s judicial independence and destroy the town’s freedoms, which aren’t out there in mainland China.
Hong Kong was handed again to China from British management in 1997, however with a novel settlement which assured sure freedoms.
The invoice has sparked demonstrations in Hong Kong and drawn worldwide condemnation because it was introduced by Beijing in Might.
However China says the legislation is required to deal with separatist exercise, subversion, terrorism and collusion with international components – and rejects criticism as interference in its affairs.
The safety legislation was fast-tracked to come back into impact earlier than Wednesday, which marks the anniversary of the handover from Britain to China and is often marked by large-scale political protests.
It was handed unanimously on Tuesday morning by the Standing Committee of the Nationwide Individuals’s Congress in Beijing and is anticipated to be added to Hong Kong’s Fundamental Regulation later within the day.
One of many metropolis’s most distinguished activists, Joshua Wong, reacted by saying he would give up the pro-democracy group Demosisto he spearheaded till now.
Fellow activists Nathan Regulation and Agnes Chow additionally mentioned they’d give up the group.
What’s the new legislation?
China has not formally confirmed the legislation has been handed, and the textual content of the invoice has additionally not been made public, however some particulars have emerged.
It could make felony any act of secession, subversion of the central authorities, terrorism and collusion with international or exterior forces.
A brand new nationwide safety workplace in Hong Kong would cope with nationwide safety instances, however would additionally produce other powers reminiscent of overseeing schooling about nationwide safety in Hong Kong colleges.
The Hong Kong authorities will likely be required to hold out most enforcement beneath the brand new legislation, however Beijing will be capable to overrule the Hong Kong authorities in some instances.