China’s new nationwide safety laws could also be used to ascertain a home intelligence company in Hong Kong just like the colonial-era Special Branch, the territory’s former chief Leung Chun-ying says.
China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, introduced on Thursday a draft choice on “establishing and improving a legal system and enforcement mechanism for Hong Kong to safeguard national security”.
Leung’s feedback might give weight to concern amongst some Hong Kongers and governments of different international locations that the laws will herald a brand new period of political surveillance and legislation enforcement managed from the mainland.
The US authorities referred to as the legislation a “death knell” for town’s autonomy.
“There is a possibility … of the central people’s government authorising Hong Kong law enforcement bodies, such as the police, to enforce the law,” Leung instructed Reuters in an interview.
He famous that the British had a Special Branch in Hong Kong to cope with nationwide safety threats, dismantled earlier than Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
“All jurisdictions in the world, including the ones in the West, have laws that protect national security,” Leung mentioned.
“Singapore has a Special Branch. We don’t. America has all kinds of law enforcement agencies that are tasked to deal with national security threats. We don’t. So it’s not surprising that as part of the efforts to fill the national security legal gap, we need to have a body,” he mentioned.
Leung, Hong Kong’s chief govt from 2012-2017, is now a vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a high advisory physique in China.