China’s National People’s Congress is on the verge of passing a law that would erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and its right to protest.
With this, China intends to “prevent, stop and punish” the protests that have rocked the port city since July 2019.
The draft law that seeks to erode the autonomy of the city is being seen as controversial.
Article 4 of the statute states that “when needed, relevant national security organs of the Central People’s Congress will set up agencies in Hong Kong to fulfil relevant duties to safeguard national security, in accordance with the law”.
This is expected to trigger protests in Hong Kong which had only last year protested against a law that would have permitted residents of the city to be extradited to the mainland.
Hong Kong is part of the “one country two systems” arrangement and has safeguarded its autonomy since 1997 when it was handed over to China by Britain.
The latest move has provoked an immediate reaction from US President Donald Trump.
“I don’t know what it is because no one knows it yet. If it happens, we will address it strongly,” Trump said.
It was only last month that the US Congress had passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act which empowers the President to impose sanctions and travel embargoes on China and Chinese officials for their human rights violations in Hong Kong.