One Big Thing: Do you support sanctions on China if it passes a law restricting rights in Hong Kong?
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What is it?
- This week, China’s parliament will likely pass a National Security Law on Hong Kong. If passed, this law will severely limit human freedoms as it bans secession, redefines crimes of subversion and terrorism, and targets international actors supporting pro-democracy protesters.
- The U.S. has come out strongly against the new National Security Law, with the White house claiming that it represents a takeover of Hong Kong. Many experts have also recommended sanctions against China under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.
Why is it important?
- The Chinese government’s proposed National Security Law addresses Article 23 of the Basic Law which if changed, would effectively override Hong Kong’s unique system of self-governance and do away with the “one country, two systems.” This demonstrates China’s desire to annex Hong Kong, similar to their past encroachments on Tibet.
- If this law is passed, it will impede on many of the fundamental rights the people of Hong Kong currently enjoy including free speech, the right to protest and an accountable and transparent judicial system.
- Another aspect of the law specifically targets foreign actors operating in Hong Kong. This is a direct move against many of the pro-human rights and democracy organizations who support Hong Kong’s independence from Beijing.
- This move follows months of unrest and protest in Hong Kong over previous encroachments by the Chinese government regarding the extradition of a Hong Kong citizen to the Chinese justice system – another sovereign right protected by the Basic Law.
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