Hongkongers greet Beijing’s draconian security law with protests

The gesture of the protesters demands the government to meet their “five demands, not one less.” Image: Dale De La Rey/AFP/Getty Images

DHARAMSALA, 2 July: After China imposed the controversial national security law in Hong Kong, Hongkongers in their thousands protested and thronged the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay on Wednesday.

It marked the “second summer in a row where political unrest has returned to the streets of Hong Kong,” in the semi-autonomous city, reports the CNN.

As the Hongkongers greeted the law passed by China’s rubber-stamp parliament on 30th June on the 23rd anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China, hundreds of protesters were reportedly arrested by the authorities. 

The draconian security law, critics say further erodes the island’s autonomy as it “dramatically broadens the powers of local and mainland authorities to investigate, prosecute and punish dissenters.”

The passage of the law has been billed as a devastating blow to Hong Kong’s autonomy as promised under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework, the terms of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese control in 1997.

While the legislation has been condemned internationally, authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have insisted that it is aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests.

Protesters and police also clashed in Hong Kong when Beijing initially proposed the new law in May and June. 

Meanwhile, Hong Kong activists have stated that the imposition of the law should prompt the world to unite in confronting the Chinese communist regime as it poses a global threat.

“We are actually facing a global fight. We should hold hands together and to suppress these authoritarian expansionists,” the Epoch Time quoted Nathan Law, a prominent Hong Kong activist as saying at a US House foreign affairs committee hearing on 1 July as Hong Kong police began making arrests of protesters under the new law during the protest. 

He has further likened “fighting for democracy” in the foreground of Hong Kong as “helping the world preserve its democracy and its values.” 

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