On Tuesday, commander of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong, Chen Daoxiang stated that the military stationed in Hong Kong would “resolutely” protect and safeguard Beijing’s interest.
“Garrison officers and soldiers are determined, confident, and capable of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests and maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” Chen said in an interview with Chinese state television network, CCTV.
Over the weekend, thousands poured onto the streets defying social distancing regulations and rallying against the national security bill proposed by Beijing which, according to an anonymous source reported by SCMP, has since been expanded to prohibit “activities” that would “seriously endanger national security.”
The original scope would prevent, stop and punish “acts” deemed to threaten national security.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Officer Carrie Lam has vowed full support of the security law which sidesteps the island’s individual legislative process.
She explained during a news briefing, that the central government had taken matters into their own hands to “do the work first” after Hong Kong’s Legislative Council had, for years, been unable to write its own laws for its mini-constitution that governs the region’s affairs under the one country two systems formula.
When addressing concerns that Beijing’s new law would allow for arbitrary arrests of protesters and impede civil liberties such as freedom of speech, Lam said that the legislation was directed at illegal activities, not expressions of political dissent. But she also added that it would be “not quite reasonable” for her to say with certainty what would and would not be allowed.”
Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration agreement signed in 1984, it was promised that Hong Kong would continue to “enjoy a high degree of autonomy” until 2047.
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