Australia joins fears over China’s proposed Hong Kong security laws


Australia has joined the UK and Canada in expressing “deep concern” over China’s proposed Hong Kong security laws, which they are saying will undermine the town’s autonomy.

The Chinese Communist Party unveiled the main points of the laws on Friday, which critics say will have an effect on rights, freedoms and judicial independence for the 7.5 million individuals who dwell there.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne joined her counterpart within the UK Dominic Raab, and in Canada Francois-Philippe Champagne, in saying the laws can be opposite to the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984.

Under that pact China agreed to permit Hong Kong to proceed as a capitalist financial system after the 1997 handover, with its folks prolonged the identical democratic rights and freedoms loved underneath the British for 50 years.

Police officers patrol outside the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong.
Police officers patrol outdoors the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong. Credit: Kin Cheung/AP

“We are deeply concerned at proposals for introducing legislation related to national security in Hong Kong,” the international ministers’ assertion stated.

“The legally binding Joint Declaration, signed by China and the United Kingdom, sets out that Hong Kong will have a high degree of autonomy.”

The ministers stated the joint declaration gives that rights and freedoms, together with freedoms of the press and of individuals to assemble and affiliate, be ensured in Hong Kong regulation.

The provisions of the UN covenants on human rights additionally stay in drive underneath the joint declaration.

“Making such a law on Hong Kong’s behalf, without the direct participation of its people, legislature or judiciary, would clearly undermine the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’, under which Hong Kong is guaranteed a high degree of autonomy,” the ministers stated.

Britain, Australia and Canada have giant populations of naturalised Hongkongers, hundreds of whom fled the town earlier than handover to China in 1997, and Hong Kong expatriates.

Pro-democracy activists and politicians in Hong Kong have for years opposed such laws, arguing it may erode the town’s autonomy.

‘The end of Hong Kong’

Some pro-democracy lawmakers have denounced the plans as “the end of Hong Kong”.

“Beijing is attempting to silence Hong Kongers’ critical voices with force and fear,” activist Joshua Wong, one of many leaders of pro-democracy avenue protests in 2014, tweeted.

Hong Kong activists referred to as for folks to stand up in opposition to the proposal, aimed toward tackling secession, subversion, terrorism, and international interference, that has despatched shockwaves throughout the enterprise and diplomatic communities.

The proposals may heighten tensions between Beijing and Washington, whose relationship is already frayed by commerce disputes and reciprocal accusations over dealing with of the pandemic.

US President Donald Trump warned Washington would react “very strongly” if Beijing went forward with the security regulation.

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