Hong Kong’s authorities are braced for protests this weekend after China announced plans to impose a new security law on the city. Over one million people are expected to turn out the streets again this Sunday afternoon in protests.
A draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security was submitted to the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) for deliberation on Friday.
Nearly 200 political figures from around the world have added to the growing condemnation of Beijing’s planned new security law in Hong Kong.
Signatories from Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia called the plans a “comprehensive assault on the city’s autonomy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms”.
Senior foreign policy lawmakers and senior politicians from 23 countries, among them the former Hong Kong governor, Chris Patten, have warned that a new Chinese security law for the city is a “comprehensive assault” on its rights and freedoms and “cannot be tolerated”, the Guardian has reported.
In a strongly-worded statement, the 186 signatories said they had “grave concerns” about the legislation and feared it would jeopardize the city’s future.
“The statement shows growing and widespread international outrage at the decision by the Chinese government to unilaterally impose national security legislation in Hong Kong,” Patten said.
Australia Liberal Senator James Paterson says reports of China’s move to impose national security laws on Hong Kong are “deeply concerning” and Australia should make its concerns “very clear”.
Mr Paterson told Sky News Hong Kong legislators believe “it is not just the end of the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangements but the end of Hong Kong as we know it.” “[It] shows that yet again Beijing and the Chinese communist party cannot be taken at their word and will uphold commitments that they voluntarily themselves entered into.”
RMIT University Professor Joe Siracusa says “there’s no doubt about it, Hong Kong is finished”.
“These national security laws finish off the political freedoms the people in Hong Kong have,” he told Sky News, ““Hong Kong in terms of political freedom is dead man walking, they’re finished and they know they’re finished.”
Professor Siracusa said the US and Australia “should be thinking about whether we open our borders to Hong Kong refugees” because “this is going to get ugly”.
Footage of police cracking down on protests in Hong Kong at 1:30 pm local time taken by Hong Kong Police.
Hong Kong media entrepreneur and activist Jimmy Lai said with the legislation, two million Hongkongers will flee the territory while another two million will stay and continue fighting; and he is going to stay and fight to the end.
Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong said they fear the move will be “the end of Hong Kong”.
According to Jimmy Sham, LGBT rights activist and one of the key organizers of this weekend’s protests, because of the coronavirus outbreak, many planned democratic events have been canceled or postponed, but people are determined to show the courage and fight to the end for the future of Hong Kong.
By Winnie Troppie