Beijing to handle interpretation of new Hong Kong security law
by Paul Wang

In cases of conflict with Hong Kong's (liberal) laws, the new law trumps the previous one. It includes a supervision of schools to verify national security education. Carrie Lam maintains the new law will guarantee the "One country, two systems" principle. For democratic movements and NGOs, the new law will reduce freedoms in Hong Kong, making it similar to "any other Chinese city".

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The new national security law that Beijing wants to impose on Hong Kong provides for a security control office (espionage?) as well as a judicial commission to judge the crimes related to it. The office will be led by the head of the Hong Kong executive, Carrie Lam (see photo), who will also be able to choose the group of judges.

The most important fact is that the interpretation of cases and the law remains in the hands of Beijing and the Permanent Commission of the National People's Congress (the Chinese parliament), which is drafting the law. Two days ago, by presenting some guidelines of the new law, Xinhua specified that in case of conflict with existing laws in Hong Kong, the new law will take precedence.

Xinhua explained that the new law aims to target and prevent subversion, separatism, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers against Hong Kong and China. It also requires greater government oversight of schools to verify the quality of education from a national security perspective.

For years, the population of Hong Kong has been opposed to a security law, proposed by the government as early as 2003, but then withdrawn due to opposition from the population. In Hong Kong there are fears that the law will be used by China to stifle the freedoms enjoyed by the territory according to the "One country, two systems" principle, established by Deng Xiaoping. The democratic movements all agree that with the passing of the new law, Hong Kong will be reduced and treated as "any other city in China".

Carrie Lam was quick to defend the law. Speaking in an online forum this morning, she said that the new law will strengthen the "one country two systems" principle, guaranteeing the liberal lifestyle in Hong Kong and regaining international reputation and competitiveness in the area.

Lam maintains that the Hong Kong crisis is caused by the democratic movement and the "terrorism" of demonstrations as well as gestures of vandalism and youth violence.

Many international NGOs that are engaged in Hong Kong are also convinced that it will stifle all freedoms. One only has to consider the overly generic and broad definition of "national security" which will allow Beijing to intervene on any aspect of the life of the territory.