CHINA FORMS BUREAU TO DEFEND ‘NAT’L SECURITY’ IN HONG KONG
China is tightening its chokehold on Hong Kong as it mulls to create a special bureau in the city to defend “national security” without consulting city officials, much less its legislative body as mandated by the treaty between the United Kingdom and China that led to the handover in 1997.
Under the agreement, cut several years before the handover and submitted to the United Nations (UN), China agreed to maintain Hong Kong’s autonomy until 2047 under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” but Beijing insisted the situation changed after the handover, arguing that the deal ended up as toilet paper and China could now do whatever suits her, The Telegraph reported in London on June 20, 2020.
The special bureau in Hong Kong will investigate and prosecute crimes considered threatening to national security, as state media on Saturday reported some details of a controversial new national security law being imposed on the city. Bodies in all Hong Kong government departments, from finance to immigration, will be directly answerable to the central government in Beijing, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
In its full session last month, the National People’s Congress (NPC) ratified a decision to enact such legislation at the national level after Hong Kong's own Legislative Council was unable to do so because of strong local opposition. Critics say the law could severely limit free speech and opposition political activity. Legal experts say Beijing's justifications for the law are debatable. The Hong Kong Bar Association on Friday called on the city's government to reveal details of the bill and warned that the law's enforcement in Hong Kong risked setting up a system of conflicting parallel legal standards dominated by Beijing. "It raises the question whether individuals will be tried within the criminal justice system in (Hong Kong) by the Hong Kong courts or sent to the Mainland for trial and serve any terms of imprisonment in Mainland prisons," the bar association said in a statement emailed to reporters.