World reacts to China's national security law for Hong Kong

International Desk
1 July 2020, Wed
Published: 07:17

World reacts to China's national security law for Hong Kong

China's enactment of a national security law for Hong Kong has triggered concern overseas and a firm defence at home.

China says the law is necessary to deal with separatism and foreign interference in the semi-autonomous territory, but critics say it will outlaw dissent and destroy the autonomy promised when Britain handed the territory to Beijing in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" framework.

Here's a roundup of reactions to the law's passage.

Japan
"It is regrettable that the national security law was enacted despite strong concerns shared among the international society and the people of Hong Kong," Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said.

"It will undermine trust for the principle of 'one country, two systems.' "

United Kingdom
"We will be looking at the law very carefully and we will want to scrutinize it properly to understand whether it is in conflict with the Joint Declaration between the UK. and China. We will be setting out our response in due course," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

United States
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the legislation as "draconian" which would "end free Hong Kong" in a tweet late on Tuesday.

The CCP’s draconian national security law ends free Hong Kong and exposes the Party’s greatest fear: the free will and free thinking of its own people.

"The purpose of this brutal, sweeping law is to frighten, intimidate and suppress Hong Kongers who are peacefully demanding the freedoms that were promised," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

European Union
"This law risks seriously undermining the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong and having a detrimental effect on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law," said European Council President Charles Michel. "We deplore this decision."

Hong Kong
"It will only target an extremely small minority of people who have breached the law, while the life and property, basic rights and freedoms of the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents will be protected," Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said.

"The legislation will not undermine 'one country, two systems' and Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy."

"This issue is purely China's internal affairs, and no foreign country has the right to interfere," foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.

"The Chinese government is unswervingly determined to safeguard the interests of national sovereignty, security and development, to implement the 'one country, two systems' policy, and to oppose any external force interfering in Hong Kong affairs."

Taiwan
"China promised that Hong Kong would remain unchanged for 50 years. The adoption of the National Security Law makes people feel that this commitment is indeed a blow to public confidence," Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said.

Twenty-seven countries including Britain, France, Germany and Japan said China must reconsider the law which "undermines" Hong Kong's freedoms.

The 27 countries have "deep and growing concerns" over the new security law, which has clear implications on the human rights of people in Hong Kong, the statement said.

Joint statement by 27 countries at UN Human Rights Council
Twenty-seven countries including Britain, France, Germany and Japan said China must reconsider the law which "undermines" Hong Kong's freedoms.

The 27 countries have "deep and growing concerns" over the new security law, which has clear implications on the human rights of people in Hong Kong, the statement said.

Imposing the law without the direct participation of Hong Kong's people, legislature or judiciary "undermines" the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle guaranteeing Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy, rights and freedoms, said the signatories, which included Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and 15 European Union states including the Netherlands and Sweden. Source: Al-Jazeera

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