Beijing plans to impose national security laws on Hong Kong. The security legislation, could see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in Hong Kong, and this has sent huge fears amongst Hong Kong citizens, business and the diplomatic communities.
The details of the legislation is seen by critics as a turning point for the former British colony (Hong Kong), which enjoys many freedoms, including an independent legal system and right to protest, not allowed in China mainland.
The U.S. government officials have stated that the legislation will bring to an end the Chinese-ruled city’s autonomy and it will be bad for both Hong Kong’s and China’s economies. They said it could frustrate the territory’s special status in U.S. law, which has helped it maintain its position as a global financial centre.
Britain has said it is deeply concerned by the proposed security laws which it said would undermine the “one country, two systems” principle agreed when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Bankers and headhunters said it could lead to money and talent leaving the city. Hong Kong stocks slumped 5.6% on Friday
Some of Hong Kong citizens also share their fears with the new planned law. “I feel upset for the young generation … What can they do now, where can they go?” said Man, who has been selling newspapers in the bustling working class district of Mong Kok for nearly five decades.
Others hope the proposed laws can help bring calm to a city wracked by months of often violent anti-government protests that show signs of ramping up again as anger builds over Beijing’s move to assert its authority over the city.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says her government will “fully cooperate” with the Chinese parliament to safeguard national security, which she said would not affect rights, freedoms or judicial independence.