tirsdag 26. mai 2020

Can we trust that Beijing’s security law will target Hong Kong’s violent minority only?

After an extraordinary year marked by months of civil unrest and the Covid-19 outbreak, there were hopes that normal life might finally return to Hong Kong. But as most of the world continues to battle the deadly pandemic, Hong Kong faces an existential threat of a different kind.

Beijing’s decision to impose a new national security law on the city has plunged it into a new era of fear and uncertainty. The details are not yet known and officials are scrambling to offer
reassurance. But once this law is in place, life in Hong Kong may never be the same again.

A resolution was tabled at the annual meeting of China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress, last week. It empowers the NPC’s standing committee to pass a security law for Hong Kong, possibly as soon as next month. Such a law would “prevent, frustrate and punish any secessionist or subversive activity, the organising of terrorist acts, and other acts that seriously threaten national security, as well as activities of foreign and external interference in Hong Kong,” said the resolution, which is expected to pass on Thursday. An enforcement mechanism will be put in place and China’s security agencies will be allowed to set up in Hong Kong.