China unveils details of the Hong Kong national safety legislation

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Pedestrians walks beyond a banner promoting advertising promoting a new national safety legislation on June 30, 2020 at Hong Kong, China.

Billy H.C. Kwok | Getty Images

BEIJING — The Chinese government passed a sweeping new safety law for Hong Kong that took effect only hours prior to the 23rd anniversary of the town’s handover in the U.K into China on Wednesday.

The National Security Law strengthens Beijing’s hands on Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous area with greater democratic liberty and alignment with global business standards compared to the mainland. That particular status has made Hong Kong an attractive hub for several foreign companies trying to exploit the Greater China marketplace.

Under the new laws, lots of the actions completed by protesters in Hong Kong within the previous year become punishable by law. What started as mostly peaceful mass protests against a contentious extradition bill over 12 months past turned to violent clashes with authorities. 

An official English translation of this law stipulates that a man who acts with a view to”undermining national unification” of Hong Kong with the mainland faces punishment of up to life, based on the seriousness of the crime. Financial support for these actions can also be a crime. 

The safety law laid out in broad strokes that which might be termed crimes by”terrorist associations” and people who collude with overseas entities. 

The text also states people that aren’t permanent Hong Kong residents can be deported when they violate the law. 

Beneath Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing’s decision to proceed with the legislation comes despite strong criticism from Europe and the U.S. 

EU Council President Charles Michel stated Tuesday the”We deplore the conclusion,” according to a Reuters report. 

U.S. President Donald Trump’s government has taken steps toward removing Hong Kong’s unique trading status with the world’s biggest economy, starting with constraints on defense exports and availability of high technology solutions. 

Additional characteristics of the law signaled Beijing would strengthen its hands in Hong Kong’s affairs.

A federal security adviser designated by the central authorities will sit in on meetings of a Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the legislation stated.

Hong Kong may even encourage national safety education through media and schools, according to the law. 

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