Chinafs crucial decision on national security in Hong Kong
(June 2020)

On May 22, the National Peoplefs Congress of China (NPC), which was postponed for two months due to the coronavirus epidemic, made a crucial decision regarding national security for Hong Kong. The major point of this decision is that the NPC authorized its standing committee to enact new legislation to prevent serious damage to national security in Hong Kong and ban foreign powers from meddling in the governance of Hong Kong. Those who violate this new law will be punished.

Hong Kong had been a territory of China since ancient times; however, it was occupied by the U.K. after the Opium War in the 1840fs. On December 19, 1984, the U.K. and China signed a joint communique regarding Hong Kong issues and confirmed the recovery of Chinafs sovereignty over Hong Kong from July 1, 1997.

Based on this communique, the Basic Law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Basic Law) was enacted, which described the gOne Country, Two Systemsh, which stated a high degree of autonomy, legislative power, independence of jurisdiction, preservation of capitalism for 50 years, the right to private property and so on.

Specifically, article 23 of the Basic Law describes that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must enact legislation on national security of its own accord. However, it hasnft been implemented until now.

In 2003, the Hong Kong government tried to propose legislation in accordance with the Basic Law, but this resulted in the withdrawal due to huge demonstrations of around 500,000 people. Last year, protests surrounding the extradition bill expanded into large scale demonstrations, raising a storm of riots.

As a consequence, the Chinese government found it difficult for the Hong Kong government to enact National Security legislation on its own. However, given article 23 of the Basic Law regarding national security in Hong Kong, this decision of the NPC is thought to be a denial of the gOne Country, Two Systemsh agreement.

U.S. president Donald Trump announced various sanctions against China due to the reinforcement of Chinafs control on Hong Kong leading to a facade of the gOne Country, Two Systemsh. The Chinese government raised strong objection to Trumpfs firm stance, saying that gIssues over Hong Kong are internal affairsh, gTrumpfs sanctions are ridiculoush, and we will take countermeasures against U.S. sanctionsh.

I am seriously concerned that the high degree of autonomy and fundamental human rights in Hong Kong may be gutted by the decision of the NPC. The gOne Country, Two Systemsh agreement must be strictly protected, since it is guaranteed by the Basic Law.

By Yuzuru Takeuchi





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