On May 25, 2020, in the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) deliberated on their draft resolution to establish a Hong Kong version of the National Security Act, targeted to criminalize secession, sedition, subversion, and foreign interference in Hong Kong. They claim that the protests in Hong Kong last year undermine “national security.” Hence, the CCP has come up with an excuse to strip Hong Kong people of all civil rights — and impose totalitarian rule.
At the same time and on the same day, the Hong Kong Bar Association issued a statement to challenge the draft resolution and argued that the proposed National Security Act itself is against Article 23 of the Basic Law that empowers the Hong Kong government to enact its own national security legislation.
The Bar Association recalled that when the Hong Kong government attempted to enact the National Security (Legislative Provisions) Bill 2003 to comply with the requirement under Article 23 of the Basic Law, the community worried that its provisions would violate the civil and political rights of Hong Kong people, as well as freedom of speech and the press. The proposed bill caused considerable consternation in Hong Kong and a massive demonstration caused it to be withdrawn and shelved indefinitely.
This time, the draft bill empowers the NPC Standing Committee itself to add any arbitrary laws to Annex III of the Basic Law, and will override the local Hong King legislature that the Bar Association cited as a concern, since the legislation might not comply with the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. There is also no provision for any public consultation. The public must be given the opportunity to properly consider and debate the proposed law, which affects their personal rights and obligations. Beijing has now taken matters into its own hands. The CCP is taking total control. It has stepped in to impose its way and Hong Kong will lose its autonomy.
The Association emphasized that judicial independence is the cornerstone of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and should not be weakened or shaken in any way. News of the draft resolution also caused extreme anxiety in financial markets, both in Hong Kong and internationally.
It was further pointed out that China is one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The Security Council repeatedly emphasized that all measures concerning national security, including counter-terrorism measures, need to comply with the requirements of international human rights law.
This vengeful and totalitarian legislation proposed by Beijing for Hong Kong is equivalent to destroying the fundamental foundation of one country, two systems. The so-called two-systems comprise three parts: the legislative, judicial, and administrative. The CCP reneged on its promises; it did not allow Hong Kong people to vote by universal suffrage and took control of the executive power. Additionally, the way the draft resolution is doctored will undermine the legislative power. Consequently, the legal system of Hong Kong will be subverted.
The United States and the European community have made some remarks that imposing such a law would be “highly destabilizing.” Critics also say that the measure severely undermines Hong Kong’s legal framework established under the terms of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese control in 1997. Many view it as an international issue.
There is a point of view among local people in Hong Kong — those who support and collaborate with the Chinese Communist Party are unfaithful and betray their heritage and ancestors. Having benefitted from the Hong Kong system of justice and then undermining Hong Kong autonomy and freedom is treacherous and unjust. Looking at the dark history of the CCP, one can reasonably conclude — if the CCP takes over control of Hong Kong, the next wave of purges could be those very people who have supported and helped the CCP. If they betray their own people, how could anyone trust them?
The great American patriot Samuel Adams has a timely message for all those that would betray their heritage and people:
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
Translated by Chua BC and edited by Michael Segarty