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China passes national security law in turning point for Hong Kong

WorldJun 30, 2020 05:16AM ET
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3/3 © Reuters. A Star Ferry boat crosses Victoria Harbour in front of a skyline of buildings during sunset, as a meeting on national security legislation takes place in Hong Kong 2/3

By Clare Jim and Yew Lun Tian

HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - China's parliament passed national security legislation for Hong Kong on Tuesday, setting the stage for the most radical changes to the former British colony's way of life since it returned to Chinese rule 23 years ago.

Details of the law - which comes in response to last year's often-violent pro-democracy protests in the city and aims to tackle subversion, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces - are due out later on Tuesday.

Amid fears the legislation will crush the global financial hub's freedoms, and reports that the heaviest penalty under it would be life imprisonment, pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong's Demosisto group said it would dissolve.

"It marks the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before," Wong said on Twitter.

The legislation pushes Beijing further along a collision course with the United States, Britain and other Western governments, which have said it erodes the high degree of autonomy the city was granted at its July 1, 1997, handover.

The United States, already in dispute with China over trade, the South China Sea and the novel coronavirus, began eliminating Hong Kong's special status under U.S. law on Monday, halting defence exports and restricting technology access.

China said it would retaliate.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, speaking via video link to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, urged the international community to "respect our country's right to safeguard national security".

She said the law, which is expected to come into force imminently, would not undermine the city's autonomy or its independent judiciary.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the legislation is aimed at a few "troublemakers" and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests.

The editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid published by the People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party, said on Twitter the heaviest penalty under the law was life imprisonment, without providing details.

Details of the law would be published later on Tuesday, said Henry Tang, a Hong Kong delegate to China's top advisory body, after a meeting at Beijing's main representative office.

'OVERPOWERING'

The legislation may get an early test with activists and pro-democracy politicians saying they would defy a police ban, amid coronavirus restrictions, on a rally on the anniversary of the July 1 handover.

At last year's demonstration, which came amid a series of pro-democracy protests, a crowd stormed and vandalised the city's legislature.

"We will never accept the passing of the law, even though it is so overpowering," said Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai.

It is unclear if attending the unauthorised rally would constitute a national security crime if the law came into force by then.

A majority in Hong Kong opposes the legislation, a poll conducted for Reuters this month showed, but support for the protests has fallen to only a slim majority.

Police dispersed a handful of activists protesting against the law at a shopping mall.

Dozens of supporters of Beijing popped champagne corks and waved Chinese flags in celebration in front of government headquarters.

"I'm very happy," said one elderly man, surnamed Lee.

"This will leave anti-China spies and people who brought chaos to Hong Kong with nowhere to go."

This month, China's official Xinhua news agency unveiled some of the law's provisions, including that it would supersede existing Hong Kong legislation and that interpretation powers belong to China's parliament top committee.

Beijing is expected to set up a national security office in Hong Kong for the first time and could also exercise jurisdiction on certain cases.

Judges for security cases are expected to be appointed by the city's chief executive. Senior judges now allocate rosters up through Hong Kong's independent judicial system.

It is not known which specific activities are to be made illegal, how precisely they are defined or what punishment they carry.

Britain, the European Union, Japan, Taiwan and others have also criticised the legislation.

China has hit back at the outcry, denouncing "interference" in its internal affairs.

(Graphic: Hong Kong's national security framework - http://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA-HONGKONG/SECURITY/xklpyznbjvg/SecurityCommision.jpg)

China passes national security law in turning point for Hong Kong
 

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Comments (21)
Jack Zhang
Jack_A Jun 30, 2020 11:05AM ET
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a brighter future, not based on begging anymore.
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Jun 30, 2020 5:19AM ET
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Who doesnt want security? The opium-mongers, nowadays, i.e. freedom-mongers.
Yoowon Choi
Yoowon Choi Jun 30, 2020 4:58AM ET
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time to let my hk go... hope you could stay as beautiful as you once were 😭
Man Up
Man Up Jun 30, 2020 4:03AM ET
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another pandemic potential flu virus found in china.. thanks china. http://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/health-53218704
Gobo Fraggel
Gobo Fraggel Jun 30, 2020 3:51AM ET
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Apparently  there are chinese trolls here.  Please take a moment to down vote the 50 cent army paid chinese trolls.
Klaus Weyers
Klaus Weyers Jun 30, 2020 3:42AM ET
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rip free hong kong
David Wong
David9 Jun 30, 2020 3:42AM ET
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Hong Kong now is much much more free, and also much much more secure also. The people will be very very happy going forward.
Klaus Weyers
Klaus Weyers Jun 30, 2020 3:42AM ET
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stop buying any chinese products..
David Wong
David9 Jun 30, 2020 3:42AM ET
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Please find me what is not made in China. China will still produce 90%+ going forward.
nick Trad
nick Trad Jun 30, 2020 3:42AM ET
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are you suggesting people to stop bying Iphones?
Moses Yang
Moses Yang Jun 30, 2020 3:24AM ET
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Defend the free world and fight the commies
Jasper Yu
Jasper Yu Jun 30, 2020 2:29AM ET
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Law and Order
Anthony Anthony
Anthony Anthony Jun 30, 2020 2:25AM ET
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What's the big deal an owner leash up his dog?
Moses Yang
Moses Yang Jun 30, 2020 2:25AM ET
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So you think you are a dog? Mr. Mainland dog.
David Wang
David Wang Jun 30, 2020 12:47AM ET
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Many commie regime government officials have huge assets in US, UK, canada, Australia etc under the name of their family members and mistress.. Need to seize those dirty assets, and use it to pay to the families who have loss due to Wuhan virus caused by communist misleading propaganda and mismanagement of virology lab leak.
David Wong
David9 Jun 30, 2020 12:47AM ET
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How do you know...give proof...we waiting.
Stak Hard
Stak Hard Jun 29, 2020 11:36PM ET
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The people of Hong Kong have been fleeing to the west for decades. Now watch as dish washers and elites will do almost anything to flee. Dark days ahead for Hong Kong indeed
David Wong
David9 Jun 29, 2020 11:36PM ET
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No you wrong...no one is fleeing Hong Kong...why would they flee when now you have security and stability?
Stak Hard
Stak Hard Jun 29, 2020 11:36PM ET
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If no one is fleeing Then why are there 250,000 Hong Kongers living in Los Angeles??? The rich HKers have been moving to Los Angles Vancouver Seattle. Haha look it up online David . If you don’t know that , then you are grossly misinformed
Jason Zou
Jason Zou Jun 29, 2020 11:18PM ET
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Fantastic! Kudos! Let those colonists and imperialists and their puppets lament their losses in the dark.
David Wong
David9 Jun 29, 2020 11:06PM ET
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I tell you guys some history...a country longndivided must unite, long united must divide. Right now, I ask you, is the US in the divided stage? I ask you is China in the united stage? You all know the answer. This is backed up by Ray Dalio's work, The Changing World Order.
Vv Pp
Vv Pp Jun 29, 2020 10:40PM ET
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People can live there without any fear of guns, no racism, health system for everyone etc. In other words, just the opposite from what happens in other part of the world
Stak Hard
Stak Hard Jun 29, 2020 10:40PM ET
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Can’t practice yoga in the parks Can’t have freedom of religion Can’t speak opposite the party You are afraid of guns because you don’t have guns yourself. You are ignorant my friend
David Wong
David9 Jun 29, 2020 10:40PM ET
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You wrong again...there are so many Americans going to China to live. Go watch youtube, they are making lots of videos about China and how the western media brainwashed everyone about China.
Stak Hard
Stak Hard Jun 29, 2020 10:40PM ET
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David There are 10 guys on YouTube who are living there. Not 100,000 There are over a million Chinese living in the USA And a million more begging for a Visa. It’s not the people of China David It’s the CCP. No freedoms
Casaluna Poppi
Casaluna Poppi Jun 29, 2020 10:40PM ET
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David Wong  Are you being paid by the PRC monthly or by reply ?
Vv Pp
Vv Pp Jun 29, 2020 10:40PM ET
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your presence is DT, imagine that... end of story
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 29, 2020 10:35PM ET
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Dar mn usa comapnies outsource manufacturing to china for cheap labor. If Deng didnt sign treaties w Nixon, China is still in the dark.
David Wong
David9 Jun 29, 2020 10:35PM ET
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I don't think so...it was destined to happen one way or another that China would raise to the top. Look at the last few thousand of years, China has always been at the top. The world can't hold back 1.4B consumers.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 29, 2020 10:35PM ET
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David Wong whatever. Truth is truth.
Stak Hard
Stak Hard Jun 29, 2020 10:35PM ET
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China cannot feed it people That is not at the top as you say
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 29, 2020 10:33PM ET
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Flourish my **** How many die during China great leap period? Without usa, china is still in the dark.
Tan Phang
Tan Phang Jun 29, 2020 10:33PM ET
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because of that does it mean usa can hold ransom forever?
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 29, 2020 10:33PM ET
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Tan Phang usa signed treaties w china for cheap labor. With the treaty, usa withdrew from south viet nam. China promised usa to keep viet nam in control. History is not always written by the winners.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 29, 2020 10:33PM ET
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Tan Phang the reason usa was in viet nam because usa is trying to protect south east asia/stop the communism from spreading further. When china made the treaty, there is no reason left for usa to stay.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 29, 2020 10:33PM ET
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Tan Phang when viet nam invaded cambodia, china kept the promise by invaded viet nam.
Stak Hard
Stak Hard Jun 29, 2020 10:33PM ET
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Great comments Sun
David Wong
David9 Jun 29, 2020 10:31PM ET
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Under this law, Hong Kong will flourish like never before. The people can finally feel safe and secure and will be able to prosper into the next decades. I think this was a very good idea and it is about time Hong Kong people can believe in their dreams again.
Man Up
Man Up Jun 29, 2020 10:31PM ET
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still not deported yet?
David Wong
David9 Jun 29, 2020 10:31PM ET
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Man Up Deport who? you?
Stak Hard
Stak Hard Jun 29, 2020 10:31PM ET
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Hong Kong is toast Lol. Watch the money flee Right to the Us. As it always has
Erski Gumby
SB20 Jun 29, 2020 10:31PM ET
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David9-bot
Junk Man
Junk_Man Jun 29, 2020 10:31PM ET
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China does not need HK. It's shipping hub status is easily replaced. As for a financial center... That's no longer needed. Hong kongers are destroying their own neighborhood by protesting
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 29, 2020 10:27PM ET
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It will b the same as china. It is used to silence all first. If u voice ur displeasure, off to jail u go.
Chong Wee Jye
Chong Wee Jye Jun 29, 2020 10:23PM ET
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the piece of the hk land was belong to Chinese s China
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 29, 2020 10:23PM ET
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It belong to Baiyue.
Gobo Fraggel
Gobo Fraggel Jun 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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If you do business with china you support the evil regime and everything they stand for. You support all the atrocities they have and will commit on humanity.  It is time to begin the work of building infrastructure in other countries and bringing other things back home. The CCP will strangle you in your sleep if they could. China only understands $$$$ and that is what the world must focus on.  We must move business away from china on a massive scale.  They must be dismantled.
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David Wong
David9 Jun 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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@Gobo...It is very easy to say things but you need proof to back it up. Otherwise people will just laugh at you and make you the joke of the century.
Gobo Fraggel
Gobo Fraggel Jun 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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David Wong  Not much needs to be said.  The entire planet has seen the evil regime for what it is.  Just ask Tibet, or the Uyghurs in their indoctrination camps.  Just look at the CCP virus unleashed on the world while CCP suppressed news as it hoarded supplies. How does your pay cut feel?  50 cent army is a failure.  CCP will fall. The world will see to it.
David Wong
David9 Jun 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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You wrong big time...go look at asia and Europe...who is their biggest trading partners? Not the US. The world loves China except for the Fake news you get from Fox News. Go read alternative news and see, China is a Sleeping Dragon awaken to lead the world into the next century.
Stak Hard
Stak Hard Jun 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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Name a great Chinese auto company. A great Chinese Aircraft company A great Chinese motorcycle company A great Chinese phone company that did not rip off Apple or Samsung Who invented the phone? Name a great football player Name the greatest F1 drivers David The Chinese that live in other countries Never want to go back to China to live And the Chinese women are marrying non Chinese men in great numbers.
Erski Gumby
SB20 Jun 29, 2020 10:15PM ET
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David, you are wong again.
 
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