China parliament approves plan to impose HK security law - International | NTV

China parliament approves plan to impose HK security law

By AFP

Thursday May 28, 2020

 

China's parliament approved plans Thursday to impose a security law on Hong Kong that critics say will eradicate the city's promised freedoms.

The vote by the rubber-stamp National People's Congress came hours after the United States revoked the special status conferred on Hong Kong, paving the way for the territory to be stripped of trading and economic privileges.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the status had been withdrawn because China was no longer honouring its handover agreement with Britain to allow Hong Kong a high level of autonomy.

"No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground," Pompeo said.


China made the security law a top priority at its annual National People's Congress (NPC) session, after huge pro-democracy protests rocked the financial hub for seven months last year.


The law would punish secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and acts that endanger national security, as well as allow mainland security agencies to operate openly in Hong Kong.

On Thursday, the final day of the congress, delegates endorsed plans for the law, with a higher body now tasked with formulating the specific legislation.

"It's the end of Hong Kong. We know that they are cutting off our souls, taking away the values which we've always embraced, values like human rights, democracy, rule of law," pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo told AFP.

"From now on Hong Kong just becomes another Chinese city. It's demoralising."

NPC Standing Committee Vice Chairman Wang Chen said last week that Hong Kong's delays in implementing its own security law had forced the Chinese leadership to take action.


"More than 20 years after Hong Kong's return (to China) relevant laws are yet to materialise due to the sabotage and obstruction by those trying to sow trouble in Hong Kong and China at large, as well as external hostile forces," Wang said.