Hong Kong opposition slams China national security law move

Here & Now


In Hong Kong Pro Democracy lawmakers are blasting China's move to enact national security legislation. They believe this legislation could mark the end of the One Country. Two System Arrangement that has given Hong Kong semi autonomy. Since the end of British rule in nineteen ninety-seven the move by China emerged from this week's national legislative session and event that largely serves as a rubber stamp for what the Communist Party in Beijing wants to do. Cnn's Ivan Watson joins us from Hong Kong via skype and Ivan. I can you explain what this new legislation can actually mean for Hong Kong. I think it's important to stress. How different Hong Kong is from the rest of mainland China to people? Who may not know? It's the free as corner of the People's Republic of China and it was supposed to stay largely autonomous until two thousand forty seven and govern itself while being part of China so here the Internet isn't censored and the courts are independent of the political leadership and can rule against it. None of that exists in mainland China. And what the Communist Party has now announced is in the interest of national security. It is not going to dictate a whole series of laws and criminalize actions down here in Hong Kong with a heavy handed approach and a direct approach that it has never had until today. I mentioned the One Country Two System Arrangement I mean. Does this in effect then end that arrangement but certainly would hongkongers from the opposition and elected legislator who are critics of the Communist Party in mainland China? That's they're saying. This is the end of Hong Kong as we know it. And when you see. The list of what is proposed here which includes Criminalising treason secession in sedition against the Chinese government authorizing the National Security Agency of mainland China to set up offices down here in Hong Kong secret police. All of that suggests a very dramatic shift here and something that this city has never really seen in modern times. Is this retribution. For those democracy protests we've been seeing in Hong Kong over the last year the central government in China and the Hong Kong administrators. Who are by Beijing have been defending these new national security proposals arguing that the protests were a threat to national security in all of China. And thus they have to do this. There've been some caveats saying hey freedom of speech freedom assembly all those things that you have known they will be untouched. But if you've ever been in mainland China and seeing what a police state it is there and how any dissent is absolutely crushed very quickly. It's very clear that the national security rubric can be used as an excuse to almost stop anything in mainland China. So why wouldn't that be any different down here? All of this. All of these decisions are happening as we speak in real time. But I'm wondering how will this resonate in the region with the people? They are particularly in Hong Kong. There is alarmed for instance. One man I spoke with your. He runs a photo printing shop. He said this is taking us backwards and he. Also this is ominous. He said his WHATSAPP GROUP WITH HIS CHILDHOOD. Friends has completely dried up today in response to this now. Couple of points. Whatsapp doesn't exist in mainland China. The there's such censorship it also suggests that immediately ordinary people are worried that what they may message. Each Other presumably in privacy could be used against them in the future. What's next Ivan in this process? The opposition here is calling for protests which died down over the last five months as this city was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and as the threat of that pandemic receded here. The old political divisions were starting to bubble up again. Beijing has shot a very strong shot across the bow here and recall that last year. You Up to two million people protesting against these types of measures. That's two out of every seven. Hong Kongers were out in opposition. That even if they manage to generate that kind of popular protests right now it does not seem like Xi Jinping. The ruler of China is

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