Washington and London condemn Hong Kong39s project for a new

Washington and London condemn Hong Kong's project for a new security law

The United States and the United Kingdom criticized Hong Kong's government on Wednesday over a proposed new national security law that they said threatens to further encroach on people's freedoms.

• Also read: Hong Kong: Rare demonstration to warn against new security law

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The executive branch of this territory in southern China put forward a proposed law in late January that covers five crimes – including treason, insurrection and espionage – and aims to close the “gaps” in Beijing's current legislation in 2020.

At the end of a month of public consultations that concluded on Wednesday , Justice Minister Paul Lam said he had heard no objections to the new text.

“We are particularly concerned about the Hong Kong authorities' proposal to adopt broad and vague definitions of 'state secrets' and 'external interference' that could be used to eliminate dissent,” the spokesperson responded. Matthew Miller, spokesman for the US State Department, in a statement.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the proposal “does not respect” international human rights standards and “will have a negative impact on the exercise of the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong,” and called on the local executive to “reconsider.” . implement its proposals and carry out real consultations with the population.”

As a co-signatory of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which guarantees Hong Kong certain freedoms and autonomy for 50 years under the “One Country, Two Systems” model, London has “the responsibility to ensure that these rights and freedoms are safeguarded,” said he added.


In response to massive democracy protests in 2019, Beijing enacted a national security law that covers four crimes – secession, subversion, terrorism and collaboration with foreign forces – punishable by life in prison.

Since then, hundreds of people have been arrested, including local politicians, pro-democracy activists, lawyers, trade unionists and journalists, and the suppression of freedoms has silenced civil society, once very active in the city.

An article in the local mini-constitution requires Hong Kong to regulate its own national security regarding seven security crimes, including treason and espionage.

China's Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong condemned Mr Cameron's statement, calling it “irresponsible” and a “malicious slander”.

“The United Kingdom has no power (…) over Hong Kong after the handover,” the commissioner's spokesman said on Thursday.

Hong Kong government senior adviser Regina Ip said it was “ridiculous” that London “claims to have a right to review the way Hong Kong applies its national security laws in accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration.”

“If the UK government had taken its human rights obligations seriously, it would not have approved its plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda,” Ms Ip wrote on X.