G 7 nations condemn attempt to impose China’s national security law in Hong Kong

G7 urges China not to impose national security law on Hong Kong

SEVEN nations and the European Union representing  27 countries have condemned the violation of the human and rights of the people of Hong Kong by China. Britain has for the first time persuaded all G7 industrialized nations including Japan to sign a statement expressing deep concern about China’s plans to impose controversial security laws in Hong Kong, says The  Guardian. Hongkongers can be extradited to China under new security law for trial. The Chinese government is due to introduce the laws imminently. The G7 statement came as UK foreign office ministers signaled for the first time that they may use new UK human rights laws to sanction Chinese officials if Beijing presses ahead with the Hong Kong legislation. In a statement, they say ‘’We, the Foreign Ministers of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the High Representative of the European Union underscore our grave concern regarding China’s decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong. China’s decision is not in conformity with the Hong Kong Basic Law and its international commitments under the principles of the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. The proposed national security law would risk seriously undermining the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and the territory’s high degree of autonomy. It would jeopardize the system which has allowed Hong Kong to flourish and made it a success over many years. Open debate, consultation with stakeholders, and respect for protected rights and freedoms in Hong Kong are essential. We are also extremely concerned that this action would curtail and threaten the fundamental rights and freedoms of all the population protected by the rule of law and the existence of an independent justice system. We strongly urge the Government of China to reconsider this decision.’’ Hong Kong, a former British colony, was returned to Chinese rule in 1997, is governed under the “one country, two systems” framework that allows the city some freedom that its mainland counterparts don’t enjoy. Taking advantage of the unique system ensuring its autonomy as a leading global financial and business hub,   China has benefited from having the territory as a gateway to connect with the world. Chinese companies are raising capital from global investors. Enforcement of the national security law in Hong Kong threatens its global standing, say some financial experts. The  Guardian says Beijing has tabled a draft of the Hong Kong national security laws before its top law-making body, indicating it intends to rush through the contentious legislation which promises to drastically increase Chinese control over the semi-autonomous region. State media reported the draft law was put before the standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), charged with drafting the law, for a three-day session beginning on Thursday. Chinese officials said last month that the laws would be implemented “without delay” and state media reports have said it could be enacted within a month. Chinese state news agency Xinhua says under the proposed legislation major offenses include secession, subversion of state power and terrorist activities.

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