(HONG KONG) — Beijing’s nationwide safety workplace was inaugurated in Hong Kong on Wednesday, simply over per week after China’s central authorities imposed a tricky new legislation on town that critics view as an extra deterioration of freedoms promised to the previous British colony.
The inauguration got here as Hong Kong’s schooling bureau introduced Wednesday that colleges should not permit college students to play, sing or broadcast the protest anthem “Glory to Hong Kong” as a result of it incorporates political messages. Final week, town criminalized the pro-democracy slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” underneath the brand new nationwide safety legislation, which took impact on June 30.
The nationwide safety legislation prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist actions or as international intervention within the semi-autonomous territory’s inner affairs.
Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam joined her predecessors Leung Chun-ying and Tung Chee-hwa in marking the opening of the Workplace for Safeguarding Nationwide Safety in Hong Kong. Chinese language Communist Celebration officers have been additionally current, and safety was tight.
Following a flag-raising ceremony, at which the Chinese language flag was hoisted exterior the workplace, Lam and the previous Hong Kong leaders unveiled a plaque bearing the identify of the brand new company. Officers current then congratulated each other on the opening.
Beneath the nationwide safety legislation, police now have sweeping powers to conduct searches with out warrants and order web service suppliers and platforms to take away messages deemed to be in violation of the laws.
Critics see the legislation as Beijing’s boldest transfer but to erase the divide between Hong Kong’s Western-style system and mainland China’s authoritarian means of governing.
The worry is that the legislation erodes the particular freedoms loved in Hong Kong, which has operated underneath a “one nation, two methods” framework since China took management of town from Britain in 1997. That association has allowed Hong Kong’s folks freedoms not permitted in mainland China, similar to public dissent and unrestricted web entry.
After the legislation was imposed, a slew of tech corporations, together with Fb, Google and Twitter, mentioned they’d cease processing requests from legislation enforcement officers for person information in Hong Kong, as they assess the ramifications of the legislation.
On Wednesday, Microsoft and Zoom mentioned they’d take related motion.
TikTok introduced Tuesday that it might cease operations of its app in Hong Kong, and by Tuesday the app couldn’t be downloaded from Hong Kong’s Apple and Google app shops.
At a lawmakers panel on Tuesday, pro-democracy lawmakers grilled Hong Kong’s secretaries for safety and justice over the legislation and its implementation guidelines.
Professional-democracy lawmaker Jeremy Tam held up a clean white piece of paper — a transfer utilized by demonstrators to protest in opposition to what they name the “white terror” of silencing political dissidence — and requested if doing so contravened the brand new safety legislation. Different lawmakers adopted swimsuit. Tam didn’t handle to get a solution to his query earlier than time was up.