National Security Law – The Death of Hong Kong
WHAT IS THE NATIONAL SECURITY LAW?
The National Security Law (NSL) for Hong Kong came into effect on June 30th 11pm, an hour before the 23rd anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from UK to China. China says the law will return stability to the city which has been embroiled in protests for the past year over democracy, freedom of expression, political freedom and human rights issues.
THE SCOPE OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY LAW?
Under the law, the following acts are criminal offences
- separatism, separating Hong Kong from China
- subversion, undermine the authority or power of the China central government
- terrorism, includes damage to public transport, interference to public utilities
- collusion with foreign countries or forces
WHO DOES THE NATIONAL SECURITY LAW APPLY TO?
The law is applicable to anyone who is not a Hong Kong permanent resident and commits one of the offences either in or outside of Hong Kong, or on a Hong Kong registered ship or plane. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you are a British in Vietnam, or an American flying Cathay Pacific from Italy to South Africa. If you commit any one of the above offences, you could be convicted under the law when you step foot in Hong Kong or China. This includes if you are in transit.
The law applies to every nationality every location in this universe.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THE NATIONAL SECURITY LAW?
On 1st July, 370 people were arrested when the public took part in their annual march. The march has been happening on 1 July every year since the handover in 1997. They defied the public gathering ban and stood up against water cannons and tear gas fired by the Hong Kong Police.
A man rode his motorcycle around the city with a flag which says Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times. This slogan has been the bedrock of the Hong Kong protest since last year. He’s the first person to be arrested under the NSL and according to the police “charged with one count of inciting others for secession and one count of terrorist activity.” To date, 10 people have been arrested under the NSL.
Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times is now banned by the Hong Kong government under the NSL. People hold up blank pieces of paper instead. Eight people were arrested today for holding up a blank piece of paper in silent protest.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and the beginning.
Taiwan, June 2019
INCREASE POLICE POWERS
The authorities have been granted more power in the name of national security. Certain conditions need to be satisfied first, but the fact they do not need a court order is worrying. These extra powers include
- enter private property without a search warrant
- freeze assets
- confiscate assets
- control the dissemination of online information
- demand publishers or services providers to remove information
- restrict users from accessing such platforms
- demand foreign political organisation to hand over details of their activities
- intercept communications and carrying out covet surveillance
The first thing I did on 1 July was to move some of my Whatsapp groups over to Signal. This is an open-source end to end encrypted messaging service. I’m not plotting to overthrow the CCP and for the record, I really fxcking love Hong Kong.
Social media has become an integral part of the movement. From the frontline protesters, to us keyboard warriors working behind the scenes. It is even used extensively by China, through their wumao (meaning fifty cents, the rate paid to their army of keyboard warriors)
to spread propaganda and fake news.
To date, Microsoft, Google, Signal, Telegram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter have all publicly stated that they will refuse request for information required under the National Security law until there is an international assessment of the impact of the NSL. YouTube is the only major social media platform that has not directly indicated its stance on this matter yet, though its parent Google has.
The biggest breakthrough for Hong Kongers since the NSL came into effect is UK announcing a right to settle for Hong Kongers who hold a British National (Overseas) passport. This is the passport held by Hong Kongers before the handover. There are currently around 350 thousand Hong Kong people who hold a valid one. Many have renewed their’s since the protest started last year. I have personally countersigned applications for quite a few friends. It is estimated that up to 3 million people may qualify for the latest offer from UK.
This is definitely the biggest lifeline given to the people of Hong Kong, and many are already considering this option. I know many Brits will be very concerned about an influx of 3 million immigrants, however, emigrating is not a decision to be taken lightly and there are just too many issues for people to consider. I won’t be too worried yet.
China responded by saying that the UK is interfering with Hong Kong affairs, and that all residents in Hong Kong are China nationals regardless of what passports they hold. They said they will reserve the right to take corresponding measures for which UK will have to bear the consequences.
RESPONSES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES
USA – their stance towards the Hong Kong protest has always been a thorn in the flesh for China. So much that China claims they bankroll the protesters. On 2nd July, the US Senate approved the Hong Kong Autonomy Act. The act sanctions Chinese officials who are involved in the crackdown of pro democracy movements in Hong Kong, or financial institutions that do business with these people. The USA has also restricted the export of high tech products to Hong Kong.
Canada – they have suspended their extradition treaty with Hong Kong as under the NSL. This is because offenders can be extradited from Hong Kong to China and tried behind closed doors. Canada does not have an extradition treaty with China.
Australia – in response to UK’s decision to offer residency to Hong Kong BNO holders, Australia are preparing a scheme to offer safe haven to Hong Kongers. The details have yet to be finalised.
Cuba – 53 states, led by Cuba supported China’s National Security Law in the UN Human Rights Council. These 53 states include North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, many African countries who are trying to negotiate debt repayment with China, others who are part of China’s Belt and Road project, and 3 small states with less than 700k population combined (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Suriname.) UK led the opposing side with 27 countries.
Note : USA withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council in 2018
Source : www.axios.com
WHAT’S NEXT AFTER THE NATIONAL SECURITY LAW?
It’s been less than a week since the NSL has come into effect in Hong Kong. To say it’s caused a bit of stir globally might be an understatement given that it applies to everyone on this universe.
Inciting hatred of the CCP and Hong Kong’s regional government are offences under the National Security Law, regardless of your nationality and location.
Never has such a piece of law has so much impact to wreck 7m people’s lives, potentially destroy a country’s reputation that they don’t care about, and tear up the fundamentals of basic human rights and freedom.
Is this the Death of Hong Kong or did someone just commit suicide?
During the 1st July annual march, protesters carried this banner with them to demonstrate their love for Hong Kong. It says
Source Stand News Hong Kong
I really fxcking love Hong Kong
and I want to add