In an exclusive interview with DW’s Conflict Zone, Hong Kong’s former security secretary, Regina Ip, says China had to act.
“Beijing authorities have no option but to get on with introducing a set of laws that will protect national security and discourage separatist activities,” Ip told Tim Sebastian.
Given China’s human rights record, which includes mass surveillance and has seen the charge of separatism used to incarcerate millions of Uighurs in “re-education” camps in Xinjiang province, would Hong Kong not be taking a huge gamble with the new law?
“Don’t jump to conclusions … you are talking about mainland China. You’re not talking about Hong Kong,” the pro-Beijing politician told Sebastian.
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The new national security legislation for Hong Kong could see severe punishments for offenses such as disrespecting the Chinese national anthem and national flag, as well as the establishment of Chinese security agencies in Hong Kong.
Since Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, the territory has enjoyed widespread autonomy under the principle of one country, two systems, enshrined in Hong Kong’s basic law.
But in 2019 the streets of Hong Kong erupted in protest when the territory’s pro-Beijing chief executive, Carrie Lam, sought to introduce legislation that could have seen suspects extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China.
Millions demonstrated in sometimes violent protests and Lam withdrew the bill. Allegations of violence were directed at both demonstrators and police.
“Dangerous weapons have been used in a lot of so-called peaceful protests … and innocent people have been killed,” Ip said.
“In the past year, we have seen a lot of violence, a lot of subversive activity, a lot of terrorist activities,” she told Sebastian.
More about Tim Sebastian: http://www.dw.com/p/1G7K9
More about Sarah Kelly: https://www.dw.com/en/meet-sarah-kelly/a-52405688
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