WASHINGTON: The US has called for a UN Security Council meeting on Hong Kong, as the Trump administration indicated that it will not keep quiet on China’s new national security law to curb freedom in the former British colony.
China on Friday introduced the draft of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong in its parliament to tighten Beijing’s control over the former British colony, in what could be the biggest blow to the territory’s autonomy and personal freedoms since 1997 when it came under Chinese rule.
Hong Kong, an economic powerhouse, is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. It has observed a “one country, two systems” policy since Britain returned sovereignty to China on July 1, 1997, which has allowed it certain freedoms, the rest of China does not have.
The Chinese actions fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984, which was registered with the UN as a legally binding treaty, and the Basic Law, the Trump administration said on Wednesday.
“This is a matter of urgent global concern that implicates international peace and security, and warrants the immediate attention of the UN Security Council,” the US said and called for a virtual meeting of the Security Council to discuss these acts and China’s proposed national security law.
On Wednesday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo determined that Hong Kong no longer enjoyed a high degree of autonomy.
“We are designing our responses to be sure to help Beijing understand that as a nation of law, we will invoke the law that the Congress passed in the Hong Kong Policy Act and Human Rights and Democracy Act. But at the same time, we will do our best to ensure the people of Hong Kong are not adversely affected to the best we can,” he said.
Chinese parliament okays HK security Bill
- China’s parliament on Thursday approved a new security law for Hong Kong which will make it a crime to undermine Beijing’s authority in the former British territory.
- China’s annual political season, delayed by the pandemic ended on Thursday with its legislature, much on the expected lines endorsing the new security law for HK.
- The new law, Chinese security agencies can for the first time open their establishment and operate in Hong Kong.
- The NPC approved a host of Bills on the last day, including the new security law for Hong Kong, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.