Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners yesterday vowed to take to the streets in protest over what they said was China's fiercest assault on the territory's treasured autonomy with its move to impose a security law.
While the seven-month-long agitation previous year in which millions took part subsided during the coronavirus crisis from January to April, protestors returned to streets this month, with the pro-autonomy and pro-freedom legislators grappling with the security officials in local legislature protesting against the curbs.
China's parliament, the National People's Congress, announced on Thursday a draft decision on "establishing and improving a legal system and enforcement mechanism for Hong Kong to safeguard national security".
The resolution released Friday also called for setting up a new security agency in Hong Kong to enforce it, a potentially significant shift from current law curbing activities by Chinese law enforcement in the city.
"It's drivel", the former governor said in an interview to a media organization. In recent days, USA officials have showered Taiwan's president with praise, announced new measures that could further restrict Chinese tech giant Huawei's access to key technologies, and directly appealed to the Chinese people in Mandarin to explain US criticisms of Chinese government policies.
The ministers said the joint declaration provides that rights and freedoms, including freedoms of the press and of people to assemble and associate, be ensured in Hong Kong law. "The people of Hong Kong need, and deserve, our support".
In recent years, the disappearance of people from Hong Kong, including financier Xiao Jianhua, has fueled concerns about the strength of legal protections guaranteed after the city's return to Chinese rule in 1997.
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"This is the end of Hong Kong".
"And so, I would expect that they're going to have serious capital flight problems", Hassett said.
"Whatever form it takes, it is important the national security law addresses concerns over possible curbs on freedoms and rights", it said.
A spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in Hong Kong said in a statement the city's high degree of autonomy "will remain unchanged, and the interests of foreign investors in the city will continue to be protected under the law". "Hong Kong is part of China, and therefore, Hong Kong has an obligation to protect the national security of China".
She acknowledged that some details of the sweeping legislation expected to be rubber-stamped soon by the National People's Congress had yet to be decided.
The draft proposal was widely condemned by Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers, activists and human rights advocates, and sent stocks tumbling in the city. "Proton has an office in Taiwan so we feel solidarity with our user community in Hong Kong, and a duty to help uphold our shared values".
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo branded the "disastrous proposal" a "death knell for the high degree of autonomy that Beijing promised for Hong Kong".
"Especially having gone through nearly one year of disruptions, violence and uncertainties, anything particularly in safeguarding national security that will help stabilise the environment is indeed very good for local investment sentiment", she said.