Hong Kong citizens wake up to new security laws on poignant anniversary

It was reported that security was tight around the heart of Hong Kong’s government district on Wednesday, hours after the new laws came into force. The controversial new laws that are in place will punish crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison. This announcement has had observers around the world concerned about one of the most liberating cities in Asia, which very soon could become extremely authoritarian.

The laws in place will almost certainly strike fear into the hearts and minds of activists and those who are seeking to have their democratic voices heard.

Any rights activists, who have been caught as violators of the law, and were thinking of standing for election can wave their chances goodbye, as new laws say those who break the news laws will be exempt from standing.

On top of which will be far greater oversight of non-governmental organisations and the press.

Meaning that the CCP can attempt to try and regulate the media and crackdown on freedom of speech.

Hong Kong leader, Carrie Lam was speaking at a flag-raising ceremony that marked the anniversary of the region’s handover in 1997.

The embattled leader said the law was the most important development since the city’s return to Beijing.

“It is a historical step to perfect Hong Kong safeguarding national security, territorial integrity and a secure system,” Lam said.

READ MORE:Democracy under attack! Hong Kong reveals details of China’s new law

In the long run, this could come as a major blow the Asian financial hub as those freedoms are key to its success as a global financial centre.

“With the release of the full detail of the law, it should be clear to those in any doubt that this is not the Hong Kong they grew up in,” said Hasnain Malik, head of equity research, Tellimer in Dubai.

“But this tighter security environment has been on the way for many years now.”

“The difference is that U.S. and China relations are far worse and this could be used as a pretext to impede the role of Hong Kong as a finance hub.”

There are those who are in support of the new laws, with some commentators saying the law is aimed at sealing Hong Kong’s “second return”.

For pro-Beijing officials, this would be a successful “second return” to the motherland after the first failed to bring residents of the restive city to heel.

Luo Huining, the head of Beijing’s top representative office in Hong Kong, said at the flag-raising ceremony the law was a “common aspiration” of Hong Kong citizens.

Critics of the legislation blasted the lack of transparency surrounding its details up until it was unveiled, with even Beijing-backed Lam saying she was not privy to the draft despite her insisting most people had no reason to worry.


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