Hong Kong’s chief vowed on Friday to “fully cooperate” with Beijing over a nationwide safety regulation for the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, after lawmakers launched a draft proposal to the nation’s parliament.
The plan for the regulation was unveiled throughout the opening session of China’s annual National People’s Congress on Friday and follows seven months of fierce protests in Hong Kong final yr in opposition to Beijing’s rule.
The draft mentioned the safety regulation would “guard against, stop and punish any separatism, subversion of the national regime, terrorist group activities and such behaviours that seriously harm national security”.
Hong Kong’s embattled chief Carrie Lam mentioned in an announcement that the native authorities will “complete the legislation as soon as possible to discharge its responsibility”.
Lam mentioned she “firmly” believed the regulation was geared toward “effectively preventing and curbing actions that seriously endanger national security”.
Her assertion added that the laws would “punish ‘Hong Kong independence’ and violent political elements”.
The chief mentioned the mass pro-democracy protests that rocked the Asian monetary hub had “seriously undermined relations between the Chinese central government and the Hong Kong government, harmed national security and sovereignty, and challenged central authorities”.
The draft proposal will probably be debated by China’s high leaders, though in apply proposals on the rubber-stamp parliament are often agreed prematurely.
Lam mentioned the proposed regulation wouldn’t have an effect on the rights and freedoms of Hong Kongers or the independence of the judiciary.
She additionally mentioned it will not substitute Article 23 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the town’s mini-constitution, which requires the native authorities to enact its personal laws on nationwide safety separate from Beijing.
Beijing batted away worldwide criticism over the plan on Friday, together with from the United States.
“China’s… resolve to oppose any interference in Hong Kong affairs by any foreign power is unshakable,” mentioned international ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a press briefing.
The State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Beijing’s top-level physique overseeing the town, mentioned the regulation would “build a firm institutional foundation for the stability and longevity of ‘One Country, Two Systems'”.
“Upholding national security is the core of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle,” a spokesman for the workplace mentioned, referring to the handover settlement that has given Hong Kong a restricted type of autonomy since getting back from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
An unnamed spokesman for Beijing’s Hong Kong Liaison Office mentioned the regulation was “necessary to plug in loopholes in Hong Kong’s national security legislation”.
The draft proposal was extensively condemned by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers, activists and human rights advocates, and despatched shares tumbling within the metropolis.
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