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Beijing: China is taking matters into its own hands following the anti-government protests in Hong Kong last year that often land in tear gas-filled clashes.
In a surprise move, the central government announced last week that it would develop legislation to prevent segregation, secession, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong. The National People’s Congress is expected to ratify the bill on Thursday and the law may be finalized in the summer of this year.
China’s decision raises questions about the future of the semi-autonomous region. Will China deploy its feared state security officials in the city? Does this signal the end of an erosion or “one country, two-system” framework that gives Hong Kong a higher level of local autonomy?
The devil is in the details. And they have not come out yet.
“We still have many important questions that have not been answered,” said Joseph Cheng, a political scientist and veteran of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
BOMBSHELL OF BEIJING
The resolution that Congress is ready to approve is actually a guideline for future steps. It serves as a standing committee of the legislature, a small institution with decision-making authority, to develop specific legislation in future meetings.
Two items are being given special attention in the seven-article draft. One is the possible deployment of state security. The second is bypassing the Hong Kong legislature by crafting and approving laws in Beijing.
Hong Kong government is required to enact National security law Under Article 23 of the Basic Law, its constitution, but has been unable or unwilling to do so due to opposition. In 2003, an attempt was abandoned due to heavy opposition.
China dropped its bomb the day before the inauguration Annual national peopleLast week’s congress. In the wake of last year’s protests, the most violent since the withdrawal of the former British colony by China in 1997, it was said to have been stepped into.
Technically, the central government can do this, but it does not look good. Article 18 of the Basic Law states that the Standing Committee of Congress may add laws on defense, foreign affairs and other matters outside Hong Kong’s autonomy. National security declines.
For Cheng and others in the pro-democracy camp, the move is the latest in a series of multiple steps, meaning “one country, the end of two systems.” But, he said, “We have to accept that it is legal.”
CONCERN OVER ARRESTS
After the initial announcement, the biggest setback came in Article 4 of the proposal, which reads in part: “ When needed, to carry out relevant duties to secure the relevant national security organs of the Central People’s Government (Hong Kong). Agencies will be set up in National Security.”
Speculation intensified. Will Chinese police be able to arrest people in Hong Kong? Will the arrested protesters be questioned by both local and national police?
“This can be worrying. It depends on what powers these people hold,” said Albert Chen, a constitutional law scholar. Hong Kong University And a committee member who advises the Standing Committee of Congress on basic legislation.
“If these people have arresting powers, to search people’s homes or offices, I think it would be very difficult for people to accept that,” he said.
Details may emerge in upcoming committee meetings in late June and late August.
Protests in Hong Kong and reaction in Beijing reflect a fundamental division that is once again bubbling to the surface.
Hong Kong residents have freedom of expression and other rights under the “ one country, two systems ” permission for government opposition and public criticism. This, at times, can be messy.
Rule of china Communist party Stability is important to maintain its hold over the country, including Hong Kong and nearby Macao.
“One country, two systems’ are not going to disappear. Hong Kong will continue to manage most of its local affairs, ranging from managing to common crime. But as Beijing moves towards disagreements and increasingly heavy-handedness in any possible case. Hong Kong Challenges to its ultimate control.
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