Thu. Jun 24th, 2021


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BBC reporter uncovers China’s new state security law – UK citizens could be arrested

3 min read

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BBC China correspondent Stephen McDonell “The new security law applies to anyone, anywhere in the world. So, if you have called for Hong Kong to be free, whatever your nationality, wherever you are, that could be punishable by a prison sentence in China.” Many people point to the vagueness of what could be deemed an infringement of the law, it is open-ended and thus could be used to target any political dissidents that the Chinese authorities perceive are a threat.

Mr McDonell said: “Crucially it’s so open-ended the Chinese government if it wants to could use the law to pick up anyone they like who challenges their authority.”

The wording of the new law states: “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organisations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organisations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organisations or bodies.”

BBC China correspondent Stephen McDonell described actions that were not previously illegal but can now be deemed a breach of the law.

He then went on to describe how the new security law allows the Hong Kong authorities, and in extension Beijing, the right to pursue those who infringe the law internationally.

A person may break the law by doing as little as sing certain political songs that the Chinese Communist Party deems as disrespectful.

Mr McDonell lists other actions that will be seen as infringements.

Wearing an item of clothing that could be perceived as advocating for Hong Kong’s independence would be deemed a breach.

He said: “Chanting certain slogans, carrying certain banners, wearing certain T-shirts are illegal.”

Across the world activists that encourage greater autonomy for Hong Kong will be met with a committed response from Beijing to track these individuals down until they are brought to justice in China.

Mr McDonell said: “You can’t call for Hong Kong to have more autonomy.

“You definitely can’t call for Hong Kong independence.”

If someone is arrested for breaching the new Hong Kong security law they face courts with hand-picked judges.

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BBC journalist Mr McDonell explained these judges, “are hand-picked by Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong leader”.

He added: “She is someone who’s essentially been installed by Beijing.”

Shockingly those who protest against the crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong can be taken across the border into mainland China for trial where there is a near “100 percent conviction rate”.

Now Hong Kong has seen Chinese state security agents that operate above the law of the city and can stop and question anyone they wish.

This has effectively turned the city into a state-controlled by the secret police.

Even books in libraries and bookstores that may encourage democracy and more autonomy for Hong Kong have been removed.

Now the hunt for those who have breached Beijing’s new security law has begun.

Police in Hong Kong are demanding the arrest of six pro-democracy activists living in exile in the West, including the UK.

On Friday Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Samuel Chu, who is based in the US, announced on Twitter, “Today, I woke up to media reports that I am a wanted fugitive.

“My alleged crimes? ‘Inciting secession and colluding with foreign powers’ under Hong Kong’s National Security Law.

“Except I am an American citizen and have been for 25 years.”

The prominent anti-hunger campaigner added: “If I am targeted, any American or any citizen of any nation who speaks out for Hong Kong can and will be too.”

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