Hong Kong security law: Anger as China's Xi signs legislation
A very interesting day for Hong Kong, China, describing Hong Kong's new security law as a sword of damage, please hanging over its most strident critics. In other words, China is very pleased about it. Not quite clear exactly what Hong Kong residents think about it. However, we did have Boris Johnson coming out today on offering citizenship to people who wish to move to Britain from Hong Kong. It's of course, former Colony. Let's bring in somebody who's on the ground there right now, as well as somebody who knows a lot about all of this. Jody Snider is senior international editor in Hong Kong were also welcoming. Andy Brown, editorial director for Bloomberg New Economy, Jody's. The details of the law came out last night, about 35 pages. Have residents managed to do just exactly what's in it. And could you give us bullet points? Yeah, So this is, of course, very historic, and it's coming on. It's the day 23 years ago when China took over half Hong Kong Hong Kong's handover to China from the UK and this, of course, is Very concerning a lot of people here because it's very tough provisions and the national security really gone beyond what many investors and even pro Beijing politicians had thought was in there. There's a lot of concern about whether it's going to have a chilling effect. Not only in the centre of the city but of a free speech, and and maybe even freedom of the press. Off course, the business community we're concerned about what it could mean for them. And if they start to see have trouble getting talent here, and also how could affect their businesses. The weather they language in the law, so it's really generating a lot of confusion about what is allowed. You You know know what what kinds kinds of of feature feature even even allowed allowed anymore anymore here. here. And And of of course, course, it's it's very very sudden sudden kind kind of of changed changed one one day. day. Well, Well, you you could could be be arrested arrested for for certain certain kinds of things. Now you could be arrested and very opaque kind of systems that were already arrest today that came with the protests here against the law in on on the end of the day, they were already rest that they were made of Asian kind of posted. Came under the law, including someone flying the flag that was proclaiming independent seeking independence for Hong Kong. Andrew. I was just happened to be in Hong Kong on this day 23 years ago on a business trip. Remember the handover clearly, and I remember thinking to myself. This is just no way This is going to end well for the folks of Hong Kong. China is going to assert full control. Over Hong Kong. It's just a matter of time. I'm actually quite surprised. It's taken this long. What's the feeling? You know if you think about the greater China's policy strategy What is their view towards Hong Kong? Do you think Well, pull I I was in Hong Kong that day two on DH. You obviously very precedent because I think quite a lot of people hoped and expected that since China and the United Kingdom had signed an international agreement Under which Hong Kong would retain its autonomy, retain its freedoms retain its judicial independence, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and so on that this would continue as promised for 50 years on DH. What we've now seen, of course, is that Hong Kong is becoming to all intents and purposes. Another Chinese city. It's going to lose its international personality on DH. The trend is very clear. Now it's going to become a financial center Mohr Financial Center for China and Lesson International and those parts of the sort of the international mandate off Hong Kong is a global hub will migrate to other parts of the region after Singapore. Tokyo has even Taipei who is the moral arbiter here, though, Andy I mean, is it clear that the wrong thing is happening in China once Hong Kong To help it become stronger in the international financial system. For example, isn't it doing the right thing for its citizens? This is a It is a sort of damage, please. Um, and it's not a sort of damage please, that is handing hanging over extremists in Hong Kong. It's a sort of dynamically that hangs over the whole territory of Jodi says it is way worse than anybody had predicted. Not just in the fact that you know you have full knew. Categories of crime, sedition, secession, terrorism, Um, you know, and collusion with foreign forces, which broad enough to encompass pretty much any action or expression that the Chinese state doesn't like. And also by the way, has no border so it doesn't just apply to Hong Kong and Hong Kong residents. It applies to actions and two people anywhere in the world. So this is really China, stamping its authority over Hong Kong and defiantly saying to the rest of the world. We don't care what your reaction is. Judy, What do you expect the reaction to be from the folks on the ground? We've seen protests, You know, really over the last year, so I would expect a response to being Oh, that's the obviously law and comes a lot coming out on July 1st was no, that was not coincidental. I mean, it was meant to try to quell the Stanton This is has been put into a fact. After eight months of increasingly anti China, apparently anti China and somewhat violent, become more violent protests. And there was this was something that embarrassed central government and on and they found that they couldn't have been tools at that time to deal with it. Then you had the pandemic and think Church stopped. So they were. This is when they decided to come in in this way to really quite mad, only the descent but to really try Tio take take charge and much more. On a much more significant way. Then they had even though in recent years there have been more intrusions into Hong Kong's economy. Ah, so at this point, the question is just you know how to companies. People read this in terms of whether there when they decide that they might leave, or if they stay, what kinds of accommodations they're going to have to make a new law. And that's really the question is where we are.