The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong.
Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.”
The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms.
The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands, and to establish elections for Hong Kong Legislative Council members and the chief executive, Presidential Office spokesperson Alex Huang (黃重諺) said.
Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘) quoted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as saying that the bill would break the Chinese Communist Party’s promise that it would guarantee Hong Kong 50 years of autonomy, seriously compromising Hong Kongers’ democratic freedoms.
Beijing’s announcement would only stoke Hong Kongers’ discontent and increase social instability, the Mainland Affairs Council said, adding that the move might undermine Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center.
Beijing cannot comprehend that the source of dissent and unrest in Hong Kong is not so-called “foreign influence” and the pro-democracy movement, which is why it is emphasizing a legislative solution to such perceived threats, it said.
The government should be the people’s protector, not their jailer, it added, calling on Beijing not to sow further chaos in Hong Kong.
The Democratic Progressive Party said that if the legislation passes, it would change Hong Kong’s fate forever.
“It is more than trampling on Hong Kong’s democratic form of government. It is telling the world that the ‘one country, two systems’ concept is dead,” the party said.
Beijing’s announcement, if carried through, would not win the hearts and minds of Hong Kongers, nor would it win Beijing any sympathy in the international community, it added.
The KMT said that Beijing should be careful, as the proposed legislation would hit a raw nerve with Hong Kongers.
Hong Kong’s autonomy, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly should be respected and upheld, it said, calling on Beijing to allow elections for Legislative Council members and the chief executive.
The Republic of China is an independent, sovereign nation and rejects the “one country, two systems” framework, the KMT added.
“Beijing’s handling of the Hong Kong situation concerns not only the fortune of Hong Kongers, but could also affect the development of the Chinese mainland area, as well as the direction of cross-strait relations,” the KMT said, calling on Beijing to constructively address Hong Kongers’ concerns and meet their expectations.
Additional reporting by Sean Lin
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