Hong Kong Protester: ‘The New Law is Extremely Bad’ for Freedom

About This Source - Bloomberg QuickTake News

QuickTake is a series by Bloomberg which is tagged “Global news the world needs today.” Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was founded by Michael Bloomberg in 1981, with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, Charles Zegar, and a 12% ownership investment by Merrill Lynch.

Recent from Bloomberg QuickTake News:

  • Kitty-Cams show Cape Town Cats Hunting for More Than You Might Expect
  • LIVE: Federal Judge Blocks U.S. Postal Service Changes That Slowed Mail | Happening Today
  • How Taiwan Plans to Go 5G Without China
  • LATEST: Hong Kong woke up to a new reality on Wednesday, after China began enforcing a sweeping security law that could reshape the financial hub’s character 23 years after it took control of the former British colony.

    The law’s tough provisions went beyond what many investors, democracy advocates and even pro-Beijing politicians feared, prompting warnings that it would cast a chilling effect over free speech and political activities related to Hong Kong. Leaders in Beijing and Hong Kong did nothing to allay those worries during briefings to explain the 35-page law unveiled as it came into effect late Tuesday, even as thousands hit the streets in defiance.

    “The law is a ‘sword of Damocles’ hanging above extremely few criminals who are severely endangering national security,” Zhang Xiaoming, the deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, told reporters Wednesday in Beijing. “The law will deter foreign forces who try to interfere with Hong Kong affairs. The law is a turning point to put Hong Kong back on its track.”

    The law’s vague language generated confusion about what activities were allowed, adding uncertainty for some businesses that flocked to Hong Kong in part because of its independent British-inspired legal system. While some investors said the measure would bring stability following sometimes-violent protests last year, others expected to see a flight of capital and talent. Markets were closed for a public holiday.

    Police on Wednesday quickly boasted of their first seven arrests under the law — including a protester with a Hong Kong independence flag — out of 180 people taken into custody. They used tear gas, water cannons and pepper spray balls to quell protests that erupted downtown, where demonstrators carrying umbrellas and American flags clashed with officers.

    Prominent activists, including former student leaders Joshua Wong, joined the protests even while cutting ties with political groups Tuesday in an apparent attempt to avoid implicating each other. Pro-democracy lawmakers have expressed concern the law will be used to bar them from seeking office in a legislative election in September.

    “We don’t know if there will be any more opportunities for us to go on the streets for the same cause,” said a 31-year-old freelancer who gave his name as Law. “Maybe we won’t be able to protest ever again for the rest of our lives.”

    The legislation passed by lawmakers in China and signed by President Xi Jinping allows for potential life sentences for crimes including subversion of state power and collusion with foreign forces. It extends to actions committed by anyone, whether or not they are Hong Kong residents, anywhere in the world and appears to cover even non-violent tactics employed by protesters in a wave of unrest that gripped the former British colony last year.

    For instance, Zhang said that those who travel overseas to seek sanctions against China could be prosecuted under the collusion provision. He also said people who spread “malicious rumors,” such as allegations that riot police killed passengers during a controversial sweep of train station in August, could be liable under provisions against “provoking hatred” against the government.

    Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm

    Follow QuickTake on Twitter: twitter.com/quicktake
    Like QuickTake on Facebook: facebook.com/quicktake
    Follow QuickTake on Instagram: instagram.com/quicktake
    Subscribe to our newsletter: https://bit.ly/2FJ0oQZ
    Email us at quicktakenews@gmail.com

    QuickTake by Bloomberg is a global news network delivering up-to-the-minute analysis on the biggest news, trends and ideas for a new generation of leaders.

    In This Story: Beijing

    Beijing, China’s sprawling capital, has history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

    2 Recent Items: Beijing

  • Rising tensions between China and Taiwan: Pressure on Matsu Islands | DW News
  • Assignment Asia: Perfecting an ancient craft
  • In This Story: China

    China is the third largest country in the world by area and the largest country in the world by population. Properly known as the People’s Republic of China, the political territory of the country includes the former nations of Tibet and Hong Kong. The capital is Beijing.

    7 Recent Items: China

  • Rising tensions between China and Taiwan: Pressure on Matsu Islands | DW News
  • Biden Arrives in Washington, D.C. After Weekend in Delaware
  • Biden Departs Wilmington, Delaware En Route to Washington, D C
  • Hong Kong activists chant protest slogans as crowds gather for subversion hearing
  • A tale of two ice hockey cities | Rediscovering China
  • Assignment Asia: Perfecting an ancient craft
  • Live: China-U.S. collaboration on COVID-19 prevention and treatment
  • In This Story: Hong Kong

    Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

    Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

    3 Recent Items: Hong Kong

  • Pro-democracy protests in Asia face fierce crackdowns
  • Hong Kong activists chant protest slogans as crowds gather for subversion hearing
  • Hong Kong: 47 prominent activists appear in court
  • Leave a Comment