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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: FAHHHH on May 22, 2020, 05:35:58 am

Title: Security law open to very wide interpretation
Post by: FAHHHH on May 22, 2020, 05:35:58 am
China has long desired a new national security law for Hong Kong. Beijing believes almost a year of mass protests and,
at times, paralysing confrontations on the streets shows that now it is needed more than ever.
But critics point to what they say are ambiguities inherent in such a law and the broad, generalist framework it would bring
to a place which has a very different legal tradition than the communist-controlled mainland.

"Treason, sedition and subversion" are all open to a very wide interpretation. Up to now, the worst charge most arrested protesters
have faced has been for rioting. The notion of "terrorism" also features in this proposed law. That too could encompass wide-ranging
acts and activities that the authoritarian rulers on the mainland consider far more menacing than those in Hong Kong, or for that matter elsewhere.
Hong Kong is what is known as a "special administrative region" of China.
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It has observed a "one country, two systems" policy since Britain returned sovereignty in 1997, which has allowed it certain freedoms the rest
of China does not have. Pro-democracy activists fear that China pushing through the law could mean "the end of Hong Kong" - that is, the effective
end of its autonomy and these freedoms. "This is the largest nuclear weapon the Chinese Communist Party has used in its mutual destruction of
Hong Kong," Jimmy Sham, a pro-democracy activist who played a leading role in last year's protests.
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Last year's mass protests in Hong Kong were sparked by a bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.
The bill was paused, then withdrawn - but the protests continued until the coronavirus outbreak at the end of the year.
The US has also weighed in, with President Trump saying the US would react strongly if it went through - without giving details.
It is currently considering whether to extend Hong Kong's preferential trading and investment privileges.