Racist China to propose hugely controversial national security law in Hong Kong
China's rubberstamp parliament has announced that a new national security law in Hong Kong will be on the agenda at its upcoming meeting, a move likely to fuel further anger and protests in the semi-autonomous city.
Ahead of the annual National People's Congress meeting, which starts Friday, spokesman Zhang Yesui announced that this year's session would review a proposal titled: "Establishment and Improvement of the Legal System and Implementation Mechanism for the Safeguarding of National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region."
"National security is the bedrock underpinning a country's stability. Safeguarding national security serves the fundamental interests of all Chinese people, including our HK compatriots," Zhang told a news conference Thursday.
He emphasized that Hong Kong was an inseparable part of China and, "in light of new circumstances and need," it was "highly necessary" for the NPC to exercise its constitutional power to deliberate such a proposal, adding that further details would be revealed Friday.
Article 23 of Basic Law -- Hong Kong's de facto constitution -- calls on the local government to "enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government." Though past Hong Kong administrations have spoken of a need to pass Article 23, it has never been put on the agenda, apparently for fear of the type of widespread unrest seen last year over a proposed extradition law with China.
Those mass protests, which lasted over six months and grew increasingly violent and disruptive before the coronavirus pandemic drew them to a partial halt, were a major challenge to Beijing's control over the city. Following a closed-door meeting of China's top political body late last year, an official communique spoke of the need to "improve" Hong Kong's legal system, which some saw as a reference to Article 23.
Dennis Kwok, a pro-democracy lawmaker from Hong Kong's legislative body, told CNN after hearing of the proposal: "It is the end of 'One Country, Two Systems'. Completely destroying Hong Kong."
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Steven Jiang reported from Beijing and James Griffiths from Hong Kong. Additional reporting from journalist Isaac Yee in Hong Kong.
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