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“Colonizer mentality”: Beijing denounces criticism of Hong Kong security law

Beijing denounced Wednesday Western criticism of the new security law &agrav; Hong Kong, accusing the British government of displaying a "mentalityé deeply rooted colonizer" and the European Union of hypocrisy.

The Legislative Council of Hong Kong, a former British colony before its handover to China in 1997, unanimously voted Tuesday for a new national security law, which provides for life imprisonment for offenses such as treason and insurrection.

The text, which will come into force on March 23, complements the national security law imposed by Beijing in the territory in 2020 after the previous year's major demonstrations in favor of democracy in Hong Kong.

The head of British diplomacy David Cameron declared that the text “will further undermine rights and freedoms in the city” and “undermine Hong Kong’s implementation of its international obligations binding” planned during the handover.

In response, the Chinese Foreign Affairs Commission criticized the United Kingdom for being “hypocritical and applying double standards “, referring to Britain's own national security laws, one of which was passed last year.

“The United Kingdom has made inflammatory and irresponsible comments on the situation in Hong Kong (…) this is due to a deeply rooted colonizer and preacher mentality,” underlined the police station, which serves as the Ministry of Affairs Chinese foreigners in Hong Kong.

“Colonizer mentality”: Beijing denounces criticism of Hong Kong security law

British Foreign Minister David Cameron in London, March 11, 2024 © AFP – Daniel LEAL

“We urge the United Kingdom to rectify its position, face reality and abandon the fantasy of continuing its colonial influence in Hong Kong,” he continued in a statement released on Wednesday.< /p>

The commissioner's office issued a separate response to criticism from the EU, which said the new law would affect the territory's “long-term attractiveness” as a center of international affairs.

“We urge the EU to take into account the strong interest in the law in Hong Kong and abandon its hypocritical policy” and its “prejudice,” the statement said.

– “Great concern” –

The new law passed by the local Parliament lists five categories of offenses in addition to those already punished by the 2020 text: treason, insurrection, espionage and theft of state secrets, sabotage endangering national security, sedition and “external interference”.

Called “Article 23”, the new law will aim to fill the “gaps” left by the previous legislation, said Hong Kong leader John Lee.

The territorial government also claimed that the creation of this new law was necessary under the Basic Law, the mini-Constitution that has governed the island since its handover in 1997.

The Chinese embassy in the United Kingdom assured that the text “fully protects the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents” and accused Mr. Cameron to “distort reality”.

The United States, the United Nations and Japan have also criticized Article 23.

“Colonizer mentality”: Beijing denounces criticism of Hong Kong security law

Chief Executive John Lee speaks to the media after the Legislative Council passed Article 23 of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, March 19, 2024 © AFP – Peter PARKS

US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Tuesday that Washington was “alarmed” by the content of the law.

The UN High Commissioner for Rights, Volker Türk, described the text and its “rushed” adoption as “a step backwards for the protection of rights humans.”

As for Japan, it expressed its “great concern regarding the passage (of the law), which will further undermine confidence in the principle of + One country, two systems+”, supposed to guarantee the particular freedoms of Hong Kong, including judicial and legislative autonomy in relation to mainland China which has earned it its status as a global financial center.

This principle inherited from the retrocession agreement must run until 2047.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116