From our correspondent in Beijing
The Chinese People’s Congress has put the stamp under the Hong Kong National Security Law this morning. Voting unanimously by the 162 members of the Congress Standing Committee, meeting in Tiananmen Square. Beijing was in a hurry to launch the anti sedition, anti secession, anti terrorism, anti collusion with foreigner legislation in time for the celebration ofJuly 1, 23rd anniversary of the return of the former British colony to the Motherland.
The new Chinese law must cage protests, whether peaceful or violent. Beijing replies that whether colonialist or nostalgic foreigners like it or not, Hong Kong is part of China and external interference in internal affairs will not be allowed. Application methods are still uncertain, penalties: there was also talk of life imprisonment for violators.
Details are announced for Beijing time afternoon. In recent days, the authorities have assured that “only a few cases will be tried by Chinese magistrates”, the bulk of the work will be left to the judges of Hong Kong, inspired by the common law British guarantor. But Chinese lawmakers are masters at leaving the contents of the “flexible” rules within the frames. For sure, Beijing will install its own Security and Intelligence Agency in the City which “Will work with local authorities.”
Xi Jinping was tired and frustrated in the face of constant struggle and even serious violence from Hong Kong throughout 2019, before the anesthesia caused by the coronavirus.
The Hong Kong Act accelerates the collision course between the United States and China. Both Donald Trump and Xi have election targets this year. Trump faces the ballot box on the first Tuesday of November for reelection as president. In Hong Kong, universal suffrage is voted on September 6 for the renewal of the Legislative Council: opposition candidates such as the young Joshua Wong can now be disqualified in advance for “subversion” or “collusion with foreign forces”.
Since 1997 the “One country two systems” principle has been in force. According to the Hong Kong democratic opposition, “it was in force”. Chinese law will now endorse the proud city to the model of other cities in China, preventing protests against the government and the party-state.
The United States withdraws separate and preferential trade status for Hong Kong: Mike Pompeo yesterday declared the blocking of “sensitive” supplies to the territory. London offers passports to three million Hong Kongers, if they want to leave. The European Union threatens unspecified “serious consequences” (but in the meantime everyone is negotiating with Beijing for their own economic interests).
With the national security law imposed by China «Hong Kong will become a secret police state»Writes the Twitterpro-democracy activist Joshua Wong. Wong, along with prominent figures such as Nathan Law, Jeffrey Ngo and Agnes Chow, has resigned from Demosisto, who has been targeted for universal suffrage campaigns and the request for sanctions against abuses on China’s rights.
It also reacts Chris Patten, 28th and last British governor of Hong Kong (little appreciated by Beijing who called him a “thousand-year-old prostitute”). In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Lord Patten bitterly said that the National Security Law is a forcing, because Hong Kong had inherited British guaranteeist rules to combat sedition and terrorism. “Now a country enters into force a system, in violation of the agreements that wanted the autonomous city until 2047”, adds Patten and observes: “Not even the governor Carrie Lam has been able to read in advance the terms of the legislation imposed on its territory, crazy situation». Lord Patten was the man who folded Union Jack and brought her back to London. She cried that rainy night on July 1, 1997, while attending the final ceremony. Around him officials of the People’s Republic of China that Prince Charles, present, defined in his diary “wax statues dressed in black”. Lord Patten shed many tears (including crocodile tears, because for 156 years the governors were appointed to London, not elected by the subjects of His Majesty’s colony) but he naturally has a sense of British humor. And in his memoirs (which gave him a nice bundle of pounds and Hong Kong dollars) he recalled: «Just before leaving Hong Kong, during a visit to a psychiatric hospital, a patient asked me politely” why a country that boasted of being the oldest democracy in the world he had decided to leave our city to a country with an opposite system of government, without consulting the population “. Strange, said one of my assistants, that the man with the most sensible question about Hong Kong is hospitalized in a madhouse. ”
Tomorrow Carrie Lam will celebrate the anniversary of the Return. high protective nets have been placed around Bauhinia Square where the flag-raising will take place. The usual counter-demonstration of the opponents is prohibited (as a precaution against anti-coronavirus, says the police). However, the Democratic front called its people to a rally in Victoria Park. It will take a lot of courage to challenge the Beijing Law, risking the charge of sedition, separatism, terrorism, collusion with the foreigner.