Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam tried to rally people behind China’s new national security on Friday, because the government warned the us to prevent interfering in its internal affairs, saying the withdrawal of the territory’s special status might be a “double-edged sword”.
The statement came as US President Donald Trump prepared to announce afterward Friday his response to the Chinese parliament’s approval of national security legislation for Hong Kong , which critics say will erode the freedoms agreed on its return to Chinese rule out 1997.
The former British colony enjoys a high degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” framework that ended quite a century of colonial rule.
Late on Thursday, the city government said in a statement that “Any sanctions are Double edged sword which will not hurt the interest of Hongkong but also importantly to those in US”.
It added that from 2009 to 2018, the US trade surplus with Hong Kong was the most important among all its trading partners, totalling $297bn of merchandise with 1,300 American firms are based within the city.
The legislation will allow Chinese intelligence agencies to line up bases within the territory. Beijing argues the new legislation is important to tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference.
Hong Kong has been convulsed by sometimes violent protests since the government attempted to introduce an extradition bill that might have allowed people to be sent to China for trial. While the size of the opposition forced the govt to abandon the plan, the protests have evolved into broader involves democracy amid concerns about China’s encroachment into Hong Kong’s affairs.
After a coronavirus lull, the national security bill has ignited the primary big protests in Hong Kong for months. Police moved to disperse crowds within the heart of the city’s downtown with pepper pellets and hundreds were arrested. Social media showed mainly children , including schoolchildren, being escorted onto police buses.
The US Department of State said during a report on Thursday it could “no longer certify that Hong Kong continues to warrant (differential) treatment” from Beijing.
Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned that Hong Kong , which has enjoyed special privileges under US law supported its high degree of autonomy from Beijing, may now got to be taken like China on trade and other financial issues.
In a statement on a local newspaper on friday the Hongkong leader (Lam) Presuaded that “fellow citizens” to “join hands to pursue our dreams while putting aside our differences”.
She said the legislation was needed due to a “terrorist threat” and since organisations advocating “independence and self-determination” have challenged the authority of Beijing and native governments and pleaded for foreign interference.
Antony Dapiran, a lawyer and author of City on Fire: The fight for Hong Kong , said Lam’s plan to justify the legislation was “off the charts”.
“All her claims are either false or grossly misleading,” he wrote on Twitter.
The five demands of last year’s pro-democracy protest movement included universal suffrage – listed because the “ultimate aim” in Hong Kong’s mini-constitution referred to as the essential Law – and an independent inquiry into police handling of the protests. There are few involves independence, which is anathema to Beijing.
The security legislation, along side a bill to criminalise disrespect for China’s anthem , is seen by protesters because the latest attempt by Beijing to tighten its control of the town .
The security legislation, expected to be enacted before September, was condemned also by the uk , Australia, Canada and therefore the US during a joint statement.
Speaking at the United Nations Security Council , European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell Fontelles expressed “deep concern” over the legislation.
“We believe that this not in conformity with international commitments, nor with the Hong Kong basic law,” he said.
The UK has said it’ll give greater visa rights to the 300,000 people in Hong Kong with British Overseas Passport including a path to citizenship if China goes ahead with the legislation.