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Consulate warns of more protests after China passes security law for HK

29 May 2020

By The SUN

A protest as big as the one held on May 24 is expected after the passing of the controversial security bill

The Consulate has warned of more protests ahead, after China’s National People’s Congress passed the national security bill which prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism or conspiracy with foreign influences in Hong Kong.

Unlike in the past, however, no exact places were mentioned in the Consulate’s advisory, which merely urged Filipinos to exercise caution in the coming days. Its warning that protests would be held Thursday and Friday did not, however, materialize.

China’s proposal, which was submitted to the NPC Thursday afternoon, was approved by 2,878 deputies with only 1 dissenting, and 6 abstentions.
The NPC’s Standing Committee will now draft the exact wording of the legislation before it is added to Hong Kong’s Basic Law and enacted.

The move was swiftly condemned by several countries led by the United States, which said ahead of the NPC meeting that the new measure would spell the end of the “one country, two systems” rule in Hong Kong.

Hours after the bill passed, the US, Britain, Australia and Canada issued a joint statement calling out China for imposing the new security law that they said breached the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration which assured autonomy for Hong Kong for 50 years.

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China’s decision to impose the new national security law on Hong Kong lies in direct conflict with its international obligations under the principles of the legally-binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration,” their statement said.

The four countries urged the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to work with the people in the special administrative region to find a mutually acceptable way to honor China’s international obligations under its agreement with Britain.

The joint statement was immediately followed by an announcement by British foreign minister Dominc Raab that holders of British national overseas (BNO) passports in Hong Kong could be granted citizenship if Beijing did not suspend its proposed security law.
CE Lam is urging HK people to rally behind the national security law
In the wake of the furor, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam wrote a letter calling on the city’s residents to give their “full understanding and staunch support” for the national security law.

Lam’s letter, which was published by most local newspapers today, said the SAR’s current legal system does not provide it adequate defense against national security threats.

“Over the past year, the Hong Kong community has been traumatized. Violence by rioters has escalated, with illegal firearms and explosives posing a terrorist threat,” Lam wrote.

“Meanwhile, external forces have intensified their interference in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, passed laws relating to Hong Kong and flagrantly glorified the illegal acts of radicals, all of which seriously jeopardize our nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” she added.

Hong Kong has become a gaping hole in national security, and our city’s prosperity and stability are at risk.”

Lam also reminded the people that in the 23 years since the handover, Hong Kong has failed to enact its own laws on national security under sec 23 of the Basic Law.

News that Beijing was poised to enact a national security law for Hong Kong led to thousands of people to march from Causeway Bay to Admiralty on May 24, in the biggest anti-government protest to be held in the city since the coronavirus outbreak.

On May 27, simultaneous protests were held in various districts across Hong Kong, in response to a call to stop the Legislative Council from debating the national anthem law, which punishes anyone who misuses of insults the March of the Volunteers.
180 people were arrested in Causeway Bay and Central during the May 27 rally against the national anthem bill

The protests which broke out in key districts like Central, Admiralty, Wanchai, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok, led to the arrest of 180 people.

Bigger protests could be held over the weekend, which is closest to the June 4th anniversary of the 1989 Tienanmen Square crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in China.

In its advisory to the Filipino community, the Consulate said people should stay away from the protest areas and to refrain from wearing black or white, the colors worn by the opposing forces in the protests.

In case of an emergency, they should call the Consulate’s hotline, 9155 4023.

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