Global outrage erupts over China's ‘draconian‘ security law for Hong Kong

Global outrage erupts over China's ‘draconian‘ security law for Hong Kong

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”. In a strongly worded statement, the 186 signatories said they had “grave concerns” about the legislation and feared it would jeopardise 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. Critics say the new security law effectively spells the end of Hong Kong’s current way of life. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has described it as a “death knell” for the city’s autonomy. Beijing’s decision to legislate for the territory effectively sweeps aside the promises made when the city was handed over to China from British colonial rule in 1997. At the time, Hong Kong was guaranteed 50 years of autonomy, with all civil rights and freedoms preserved for that time. It has its own police force, an independent judiciary and freedom of speech, which have been critical to building its standing as an international financial and trade hub. All of that is likely to be threatened by the new law. “This is the most serious threat to the people of Hong Kong that there has been from the Chinese government since 1997,” said Malcolm Rifkind, the former UK foreign secretary and one of the statement ...
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