ALIENS CRITICAL OF CHINA FACE TRIAL IF THEY SET FOOT IN HK
China’s draconian national security law also targets foreigners who may be critical of Beijing under Section 38 of the law and they may be arrested and charged in court once they set foot in Hong Kong, Ben Westcott reported for CNN late on July 4, 2020.
The law introduces four new crimes-- secession, subversion, terrorist activities and collusion with a foreign country, which carry maximum sentences of life in prison. Its primary focus is on stopping local dissent. Yet Section 38 has caught the eye of legal experts globally. "This law shall apply to offenses under this law committed against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from outside the region by a person who is not a permanent resident of the region," is the unofficial translation of Section 38 by state-run news agency Xinhua.
In short, even people who are not Chinese citizens and live outside of Hong Kong can fall foul of the new legislation. Mainland China has a similar law, Section 8 of the criminal code, but it can only apply if the crime is punishable in both China and the foreign country -- which means speaking out against the Communist Party likely would not be covered.
But Section 38 of the Hong Kong national security law has no such exception. The act committed abroad only has to be considered a crime in Hong Kong. Thus, it means foreigners who speak out against Beijing in Hong Kong and anywhere else on the will be hauled off to jail for doing so, thus spreading the net globally and arrogating unto itself extraterritoriality. It means Chinese overseas are covered by Section 38, as well as academics, journalists, political leaders, and ordinary civilians whose exercise of their freedom of speech has been recorded by Huawei or Chinese intelligence agencies as well as state media.