Saturday, Jul 04, 2020 | Last Update : 07:36 PM IST

102nd Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra1929901046878376 Tamil Nadu102721583781385 Delhi94695656242923 Gujarat34686249411905 Uttar Pradesh2579717597749 West Bengal2048813571717 Telangana2046210195283 Karnataka197108807293 Rajasthan1925615352443 Andhra Pradesh176998008218 Haryana1550911019251 Madhya Pradesh1410610815589 Bihar11457848888 Assam9800632814 Jammu and Kashmir76954856105 Odisha7316535333 Punjab56683989149 Kerala4594243626 Chhatisgarh3065241414 Uttarakhand2791190937 Jharkhand2339160512 Tripura140110931 Manipur13166390 Goa11984783 Himachal Pradesh9796179 Puducherry73930112 Nagaland5351820 Chandigarh4593956 Arunachal Pradesh252751 Mizoram1601230 Sikkim101520 Meghalaya50421
  World   Asia  26 May 2020  Chinese security laws will not affect rights and freedoms: Hong Kong leader

Chinese security laws will not affect rights and freedoms: Hong Kong leader

REUTERS
Published : May 26, 2020, 11:45 am IST
Updated : May 26, 2020, 11:45 am IST

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam calls on citizens to wait to see the details of the legislation

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, center, and other officials attend a press conference in Hong Kong after returning from China's National People's Congress (NPC) meeting in Beijing. (AP)
 Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, center, and other officials attend a press conference in Hong Kong after returning from China's National People's Congress (NPC) meeting in Beijing. (AP)

Hong Kong: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that Beijing’s proposed national security laws would not trample on the city’s rights and freedoms and called on citizens to wait to see the details of the legislation.

Lam added her voice to an unprecedented barrage of statements by Beijing and local officials, and former city leaders defending the legislation and seeking to reassure residents, investors and diplomats about Hong Kong freedoms.

 

“There is no need for us to worry,” Lam told a regular weekly news conference.

Like others supporting the legislation, she did not explain how the freedoms that Hong Kong enjoys will be upheld.

“In the last 23 years, whenever people worried about Hong Kong’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression and protest, time and again, Hong Kong has proven that we uphold and preserve those values,” she said.

“The best thing is to see the legislation in front of us and to understand why at this point in time Hong Kong needs this piece of legislation.”

According to a draft proposal last week, the legislation aims to tackle secession, subversion and terrorist activities. It could see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs.

More Protests

Thousands poured onto the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in a mass protest against the laws. Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd and arrested almost 200 people.

It was the first major protest since pro-democracy demonstrations rocked Hong Kong last year over an unsuccessful plan to introduce an extradition law with China. The unrest plunged the former British colony into its worst crisis since its return to Chinese rule in 1997.

More protests are expected in Hong Kong on Wednesday, against both national security laws and a bill due for a second reading in the city’s legislature that would criminalise abuse of China’s national anthem.

As many Hong Kong people fret about national security laws, demand for virtual private networks surged six-fold last Thursday, the day the plans were unveiled.

The United States, Britain, the European Union and others expressed concerns about the laws and Washington warned Hong Kong could lose the preferential treatment that makes it a vibrant interface between communist China and the West.

Investors' concerns were evidenced in a sell-off on the Hong Kong bourse on Friday, though stocks. HSI regained some ground this week, with analysts pointing to global factors rather than the flurry of recent statements.

“Medium-to-long term it will still depend on U.S.-China relations and the political situation in Hong Kong,” said Steven Leung, executive director for institutional sales at brokerage UOB Kay Hian.

Garrison Support

The commander of China’s military Hong Kong garrison said in a rare interview that the garrison firmly supported the new legislation. Chen Daoxiang told Chinese state television the garrison had the determination and ability to safeguard national sovereignty and the city’s long-term prosperity and security.

The garrison did not confront protesters last year.

Hong Kong is governed under a “one country, two systems” formula that guarantees it a high degree of autonomy and freedoms not seen in mainland China, including freedom of expression and the right to protest.

Beijing and local officials have toughened their rhetoric recently, describing some of the acts in the protests as “terrorism” and attempts of “secessionism,” remarks echoed by Lam on Tuesday.

Protests turned increasingly violent last year.

While authorities scrapped the bill that sparked the unrest, they dug in their heels against calls for universal suffrage, amnesty for those arrested, an independent inquiry against police’s handling of the demonstrations and a request not to label the protests as riots.

Opinion polls show only a minority of Hong Kong people support independence, which is anathema to Beijing.

Tags: carrie lam, hong kong protests, chinese national security law