Is Xi Jinping okay?

Xi Jinping signs security law : China strengthens its grip on Hong Kong - pro-democracy party dissolves

After the controversial law to protect national security was passed in Hong Kong, China's party leader Xi Jinping signed the decree on Tuesday. It will come into force by decree, as the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday. The Standing Committee of the People's Congress had previously unanimously approved the law.

The 162 MPs also voted to add it to the Basic Law of the Chinese Special Administrative Region as an annex under Annex III, bypassing the Hong Kong Parliament. Parliamentary leader Li Zhanshu called for "resolute and effective efforts to protect national security, constitutional order and the rule of law" in Hong Kong.

At the end of the three-day special session, the head of parliament said that the principle of "one country, two systems", according to which Hong Kong has been autonomously administered since it was returned to China in 1997, should be "steered in the right direction," as quoted by the state agency.

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As Hong Kong's Prime Minister Carrie Lam previously assured in a video message to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the law should not apply retrospectively. The democratic forces feared that they could subsequently be charged with offenses because the text of the law had previously been kept secret.

The security law has met with sharp criticism in Hong Kong and internationally. It is the most extensive encroachment on the autonomy of the Chinese Special Administrative Region to date. With the law, which is included as an appendix to the Basic Law of the Autonomous Territory, the communist leadership bypasses the Hong Kong parliament.

Democracy leaders resign out of fear

Joshua Wong and other leaders of the Hong Kong democracy movement announced their resignation from their party as concerns for their safety after the law was passed. With the security law at the door, it is “no nonsense” for supporters of the democracy movement to worry about life and security, Wong wrote on Tuesday on Facebook and announced his resignation as general secretary of the Demosisto party, which was founded in 2016.

The world-famous activist went on to say that he did not believe that the new law or other “draconian laws” would change the persistence of Hong Kong people. He wants to stay in Hong Kong "until they silence me and wipe me out." The leading protesters Nathan Law and Agnes Chow also announced their resignation.

A little later, Demosisto announced its complete dissolution. "After much internal deliberation, we have decided to discontinue all operations as a group under the circumstances," said Demosisto. Existing Demosisto members would continue to look for ways to break through “totalitarian oppression”.

Von der Leyen sees “very negative consequences” for China

The leaders of the European Union and NATO expressed concern about the passage of the law. "This new legislation is not in line with either the Hong Kong constitution or China's international obligations," said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels. China must reckon with "very negative consequences". For example, corporate confidence and China's reputation are likely to decline.

The security law undermines Hong Kong's autonomy and will adversely affect the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law. "The existing rights and freedoms of Hong Kong citizens must be protected," said von der Leyen.

EU Council President Charles Michel and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made similar statements. Stoltenberg said: "It is obvious that China does not share our values." That applies to democracy, freedom and the rule of law. The new security law undermines the autonomy and freedom of citizens.

Von der Leyen commented on the latest developments on the sidelines of a video conference with South Korea's President Moon Jae In. Stoltenberg commented on the security law at an online discussion event organized by the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg.

EPP group leader Weber: "Hong Kong is the new Berlin"

In response, activists and human rights politicians are calling for international sanctions. The chairman of the Bundestag's human rights committee, Gyde Jensen (FDP), called for the EU-China summit, which was postponed due to the corona crisis but still planned, to be canceled under the German EU Council Presidency. There must be punitive measures against China at the German or, even better, at the European level.

The EPP parliamentary group leader in the EU Parliament, Manfred Weber, hopes that the German EU Council Presidency, which begins on July 1, will also result in a more self-confident demeanor towards China. "Our values ​​have come under massive pressure," said Weber of the "Rheinische Post". "I don't want China to be the winner out of the crisis and falsely propagate its authoritarian state system as the better."

The EU must defend its values ​​better. “Today, Hong Kong is the new Berlin. John F. Kennedy said: I'm a Berliner. Today I say: I stand by the people in Hong Kong. "

USA ends arms exports to Hong Kong

In response to the enactments of the law, the US stopped exporting armaments to Hong Kong. In addition, the export of technologies that could be of use to the military will in future be subject to the same restrictions as exports to China. "We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled goods to Hong Kong and mainland China," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The US could not take the risk that such goods could fall into the hands of China's military, whose main task is to maintain “the dictatorship” of the Communist Party.

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The US government had already announced at the end of May that it wanted to remove an advantageous legal status for the Chinese special administrative region because of Beijing's increasing interference.

In addition to export controls, this should also affect customs duties and the issuing of visas, as it was called at the time. The US sees the security law as a clear violation of Hong Kong's autonomy and civil liberties. (dpa)

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