Beijing, Jun 3 (efe-epa).- Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said Wednesday that she fully supported the controversial national security law that would eradicate all remaining foreign interference in the financial hub.
“We will fully support this legislation and the legislation work,” Lam told reporters during a trip to Beijing for discussions on the new security law during which she met with members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC).
The Hong Kong Chief Executive said the central government “attaches great importance” to the opinions of the Hong Kong administration and reiterated that the legislation sought to “safeguard national security” of the former British colony.
The proposed security law “only targets a small group of people and this legislation will not undermine interests and rights enjoyed by Hong Kong residents who abide by the law,” said Lam.
She urged the Hong Kong society to participate in meetings that will be organized in the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shenzhen to voice their opinions about the law.
Hong Kong’s Basic Law, a mini-constitution, stipulates that the city authorities establish a similar national security law. But they have been unable to do so since 1997 due to widespread opposition.
Beijing has finally decided to impose the current legislation, which includes a clause that allows it to annex new norms to the Basic Law.
The national security bill seeks to “prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The legislation also prohibits “political organizations or bodies of the HKSAR from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.”
After being approved by the NPC, a final draft of the bill is set to be prepared by a legal committee and ratified by the standing committee of the central legislative body.
China seeks the inclusion of the law in the third annex to the Basic Law through its publication in a local official gazette, rather than reviewing it in the Hong Kong Legislative Council.
Lawyers and local activists fear that the law will result in lesser freedoms in reprisal for the months of anti-government protests in the city, which sometimes led to clashes between the police and some violent demonstrators.
About 300 people were arrested for participating in allegedly illegal demonstrations last week on Wednesday.
Thousands protested against the security law on May 24 when the police arrested more than 190 people, accusing them of attacking officers with bricks and umbrellas and throwing bottles from rooftops.
On Tuesday, Lam reiterated that they would not yield to the United States President Donald Trump’s threats following the approval of the contentious law after he ordered a process to eliminate exceptions and special treatment given to the semi-autonomous city in comparison to China.
This could be a major blow to Hong Kong, which is an important global financial and commercial hub, and could be a punishment for China, which uses this territory to do business with other countries.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong legislature on Wednesday resumed the debate on a law seeking to penalize “disrespect” to the Chinese national anthem, or the March of the Volunteers, which has also met with opposition on the streets. EFE-EPA