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China’s attempt to impose fear over democratic law in Hong Kong has been criticised by an international relations expert. Dr Andreas Fulda, a senior fellow at the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute, spoke to Express.co.uk about why the new national security law could not be for the benefit of any citizens. He accused leader Xi Jinping of trying to play “the judge, jury and executioner” over people’s lives.
Dr Fulda said: “The so-called National Security Law violates the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.
“It rides roughshod over Hong Kong’s constitution and basic law.
“This law strips Hong Kongers of their civil and political liberties.
“The provisions are so far-reaching that even their mild criticism of the Chinese Communist Party or even the Hong Kong Government are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.”
He added: “This means that from now on the CCP will play the role of the judge, jury and executioner, just like in mainland China.
“So this so-called National Security Law replaces Hong Kong rule of law with rule by fear.
“That cannot be in the enlightened interest of the Hong Kong city or the Chinese people.
“I don’t think in the long run this can benefit the Chinese or Hong Kong people in any way possible.”
The anti-secession law deems there are four crimes: subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces. These all could carry a penalty of life in prison.
Other details include – there can be trials without juries, the Hong Kong Chief Executive can pick judges and national security education (as defined by Beijing) will be taught to Hong Kong children.
Anyone in the world can be guilty of an offence, as the law applies outside Hong Kong.
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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the passing of the law “a grave step”, and warned that it had violated the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.
He claimed that China had ignored international obligations by taking new powers which could curb civil liberties.
Beijing defended the legislation by claiming they hadn’t broken a treaty because the Joint Declaration was only a declaration.
Beijing and the Hong Kong Government promised that Hong Kong’s traditional freedoms (of speech, of assembly, of protest) would be protected.
However, July 1, the first day of the law, saw police arrest over 300 protesters under its broad applications.
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