Countries Decry Beijing’s Move to Tighten Grip Over Hong Kong

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo steps away from the podium following a news conference at the State Department

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo steps away from the podium following a news conference at the State Department

There are fears the new law could provide both Beijing and Hong Kong with new tools to crush dissent, merely anyone that criticizes the government.

"International NGOs operating in Hong Kong will not be safe".

U.S. senators on Thursday also introduced legislation to impose sanctions on any entity involved in curbing Hong Kong's autonomy. NPR's Emily Feng is following all this from Beijing.

Hong Kong activists called on Friday for people to rise up against Beijing's proposal of the security legislation.

The draft bill submitted Friday by Wang Chen, vice chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress, bans acts of secession, terrorism and foreign interference.

For months, hundreds of thousands of Kong Kongers risked their lives and their livelihoods by protesting efforts by the city's pro-Beijing leaders to extend China's direct power over their citizens.

Protests have already started to erupt in the city, in response, against what they see erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy.

The leader said the mass pro-democracy protests that rocked the Asian financial hub had "seriously undermined relations between the Chinese central government and the Hong Kong government, harmed national security and sovereignty, and challenged central authorities".

The Government also wants to prohibit foreign political organisations or bodies from conducting political activities in Hong Kong or having links with overseas bodies.

"I recall the time when I was young, and I believed in 'one country, two systems, ' and I believed we were going to showcase to the world that Hong Kong people can rule Hong Kong", she said, according to NBC News.

That could include police cracking down on demonstrators and Chinese officials involved in Hong Kong policy - as well as banks that conduct transactions with anyone involved in curbing the territory's freedoms. NordVPN saw similar spikes in sales in the U.S. when the it repealed net neutrality and in the United Kingdom when the law dubbed 'The Snoopers' Charter' was passed.

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The United States also maintains export control offices and academic exchanges in Hong Kong separate from mainland China.

"There is a growing list of disagreements (Hong Kong being but the most recent) but no strategic rationale for the relationship or plan to limit friction". It secured the "one country, two systems" model of governance for a period of 50 years after handover, with freedom of assembly and speech, the free press, an independent judiciary, and certain democratic rights protected during this period.

"In a situation where the countries that historically would speak up for Hong Kong are on their knees and are dependent on China for PPE, what better timing is there than that?" said Tsang, referring to China's shipments of personal protective equipment around the world. Beijing believes nearly a year of mass protests and, at times, paralysing confrontations on the streets shows that now it is needed more than ever.

Senator Marco Rubio, a prominent Trump ally, said that Hong Kong showed that China will "lie to get any deal".

"But the other is to draft it up in Beijing and instruct the Hong Kong Government to put it into effect".

FENG: No. In fact, Hong Kong lawmakers tried to pass a similar national security bill in Hong Kong's own legislature back in 2003, but there were huge demonstrations, and politicians had to give up on the bill.

This was enshrined in the Basic Law, which runs out in 2047.

Pro-democracy activists fear that China pushing through the law could mean "the end of Hong Kong" - that is, the effective end of its autonomy and these freedoms.

The Globe and Mail reported Friday that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and US law enforcement authorities are warning academics and corporations in both countries that they are at increased risk of having their data and technology stolen, especially research on vaccines and other treatments for the coronavirus.

Hong Kong's autonomy, civil liberties, rule of law and access to China make it attractive to worldwide companies, and a change in that status could push some US firms into costly moves elsewhere in the region. Thank you very much.

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