China went ahead with the controversial National Security Law bill, hereby exerting more influence over Hong Kong.
This will give China’s Communist Party more authority over Hong Kong, and ultimately make it easier to exert influence over anti-Beijing movements. What else? This will surely cause more rifts with the west, especially the US.
The lawmakers voted unanimously for the national security law for Hong Kong and highlights Beijing’s resolve to achieve a political sea change in Hong Kong, a former British colony with its own legal system and civil liberties absent in mainland China.
The Chinese legislature approved the law a day before July 1, the politically charged anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997. It’s safe to say that we may see more vocal opposition and pro-democracy protests as a backlash to this law being passed.
“Xi Jinping is looking at more comprehensive control over Hong Kong, and the national security law will go a long way to achieving that control,” says Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Beijing will create its own separate security arm in Hong Kong, empowered to investigate special cases and collect intelligence, but details beyond that hasn’t been shared to the public.
This may very well be the start of a new era for Hong Kong.