Hong Kong: No double standard in safeguarding national security

China introduces new security bill in parliament to tighten controls over Hong Kong

Pompeo: China measure a 'death knell' for Hong Kong autonomy

This time, Beijing has chose to circumvent the territory's law-making body using what critics say are dubious legal grounds under the Basic Law, which has served as a sort of constitution for Hong Kong since its return to China from British colonial rule in 1997.

China on Friday introduced the draft of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong in its parliament to tighten Beijing's control over the former British colony, in what could be the biggest blow to the territory's autonomy and personal freedoms since 1997 when it came under the Chinese rule.

China enacted its first National Security Law in 1993, which focused on issues relating to espionage activities.

China's ruling Communist Party said it wants to ban "treason, secession, sedition and subversion". Pro-democracy activists say the move endangers the future of "one country, two systems", the principle under which the Asian financial hub has been overseen by Beijing since the handover by Britain in 1997. These freedoms make Hong Kong unique from Mainland Chinese cities.

"Singapore has a Special Branch".

The draft resolution also suggests that the Hong Kong government still needs to enact its own national security law under Article 23 in a separate piece of law. However, double standard should not be tolerated in the matter of safeguarding national security.

Pompeo has called the proposal a "decision to bypass Hong Kong's well-established legislative processes and ignore the will of the people of Hong Kong".

Citizens should view the law "positively" given the urgent need for the measure, she said in a briefing on Friday.

In recent decades, the Hong Kong authorities took the stance that the responsibility of legislating a national security law should be fulfilled by the local government, instead of the central government.

In his statement, Mr Pompeo said any decision to impinge on Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms would "inevitably impact our assessment" of the territory's status.

Joshua Wong is one of the leaders of pro-democracy street protests in 2014.

Officers will be deployed around Hong Kong on Sunday at locations where marches are due to take place and will arrest demonstrators if necessary, according to a post on the police Facebook page.

Pompeo said the "disastrous proposal" would be the "death knell" for Hong Kong's autonomy and that the United States stood with the people of Hong Kong.

The law, which China's National People's Congress (NPC) nearly certainly will enact, will prohibit acts of "splittism, subversion, foreign intervention, and terrorism", vague terms that the Chinese government has frequently used on the mainland to punish peaceful dissent.

"And so, I would expect that they're going to have serious capital flight problems", Hassett said. Beijing's "one country, two systems" promise - the system that was to last to 2047 - is out the door.

"They (Beijing) are now completely walking back on their obligation owed to the Hong Kong people".

How do people in Hong Kong feel about it? We hope Beijing can understand that the way to restore order and peace in the society is not to brutally force an unpopular law on us, but to respect the will of Hong Kong's people.

Why has China moved to impose the law?

"What we are seeing is a new Chinese dictatorship", said Patten, a former chair of the Conservative party and cabinet member under Thatcher and her successor, John Major.

The British and Chinese governments signed a treaty - the Sino-British Joint Declaration - that agreed Hong Kong would have "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs", for 50 years.

Patten also said the government should think carefully about the Chinese company Huawei's involvement in the UK's 5G network.

Latest News