China on Friday (22 May) drafted a controversial bill relating to national security in Hong Kong to its parliament. It aims to further strengthen control of Hong Kong, formerly a British colony. On July 1, 1997, Britain entrusted Hong Kong with a two-nation agreement to China. The agreement gives Hong Kong people more freedom than the Chinese mainland.
Hong Kong is the hub of economic activity and China has given it special administrative zone status. The bill introduced at the National People’s Congress of China (NPC) provides for the establishment of law system and reform and enforcement system in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in view of national security. It is noteworthy that a week-long session of NPC has started.
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The new draft bill provides for elimination of separatist, foreign interference with destructive activity and eviction of terrorist activities. Let us know that China is constantly troubled by these problems and violent anti-government protests are increasing in Hong Kong. The bill prohibits activities of treason, segregation, treason and sabotage and goes beyond the Hong Kong legislature.
This plan by China has been condemned by Hong Kong opposition legislators, human rights groups and the US. Pro-democracy legislator Denis Kwok said, “This is the end of a two-country system.” The passage of the bill from the NPC is believed to be certain because its image is of a rubber stamp approving the decision of the Communist Party of China. The bill has been introduced at a time when the Hong Kong people are demanding political and administrative autonomy under the 1997 Agreement.
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In Hong Kong last year, there were demonstrations against China for seven months in which millions took part. There was peace between January and April this year due to infection with the Corona virus, but this month again the supporters of democracy returned to the streets. Weng Chen, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said, “Since Hong Kong’s withdrawal from Britain, China has been steadily following the principle of a two-nation system and Hong Kong is being ruled by the people of Hong Kong with full autonomy.”
However, the Bill underlines that the threat to national security has become a major problem in Hong Kong and is hurting the fundamental principle of a two-country system. This poses a threat to the rule of law, national sovereignty and security. Many prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders, including Democratic Party leader Wu Chi Wai, called the declaration the end of the ‘one country two principle’. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong stock market plunged more than five percent on Friday after news of China introducing the bill. Hangseng settled at 22,930.14 with a fall of 1,349.99 points.