National security law will spark fresh protests in Hong Kong: Activist Joshua Wong

By Vishu Adhana

Hong Kong, June 20 (ANI): As China is all set to enact the controversial Hong Kong security law, activist Joshua Wong has said that the new legislation will spark a new round of protests in the semi-autonomous city, saying that Hongkongers are prepared to fight to protect the "vanishing freedoms".

In an e-mail interview to ANI on Saturday, Wong said, "This is the critical moment of the beginning of the end for every single citizen in Hong Kong. In the face of this draconian law, Hongkongers will not be scared off from telling truths and fighting for our justice."

Last month, the annual session of China's National People's Congress nearly unanimously passed a resolution that allows the Congress Standing Committee to impose the national security law.

"The new law will spark new rounds of protests in the city. In fact, the reason for two million Hongkongers took to streets last year is to protect our next generations from evil laws imposed by Beijing. Hongkongers have carried out a large-scale demonstration once in 2003 to block the first introduction of national security legislation," Wong, who is secretary-general of the pro-democracy party Demosisto, said.

"Now Beijing's move is actually ramming this most controversial and unpopular law down Hongkonger's throat without any legislative scrutiny. It is foreseeable that Hongkongers are prepared to fight to protect our vanishing freedoms," he added.

The Chinese authorities revealed on Saturday the details of the proposed Hong Kong security bill after the three-day meeting of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

The controversial legislature comprises six chapters and 66 articles, according to Sputnik.

Chinese state agency Xinhua has reported that the Chinese government will establish a special bureau in Hong Kong to investigate and prosecute crimes considered threatening to national security. All Hong Kong government departments, from finance to immigration, will be directly answerable to the central government in Beijing, according to the report.

The draft document lists the main responsibilities of the Chinese authorities regarding national security, as well as Hong Kong's constitutional responsibility to maintain it.

The legislation lays out rules for the prevention, suppression and punishment of secessionist activities, attempts to undermine the state authority, terrorist activities, and colluding with foreign states or forces to jeopardise national security.

Wong believes that he will be the prime target of the new law as it is the direct retaliation on Hong Kong's international lobbying efforts over the past year.

"I will be probably the prime target of the new law since many of Beijing's officials have been criticising me for attending overseas hearings and telling the truth of autocratic oppression and police brutality to the world," he said.

Countries around the world have expressed concerns regarding the legislation.

The United States has said that if the law is passed, it would revoke some of the special privileges it grants to the former British colony. The United Kingdom has said it will offer passports and a path to citizenship to as many as three million Hong Kong residents.

On Wednesday, the G7 leading economies expressed its "grave concern" about the legislation stressing that it would breach China's international commitments as well as the territory's constitution. Beijing has, however, denounced the criticism as interference in its internal affairs.

Wong has urged the world leaders to jointly express opposition against the new law as it is hugely controversial and there must be full legislative scrutiny and public consultation.

"I call upon the world leaders can jointly express opposition against the new law. Since the security law is hugely controversial, there must be full legislative scrutiny and public consultation. I also urge the US, European and Asian leaders to reconsider whether Hong Kong's special trade status can still be held since. Once the law is implemented, Hong Kong will be assimilated into China's authoritarian regime, on both rule of law and human rights protections," Wong said. (ANI)