Why in news?
China has sought the support and understanding of India and other countries for its controversial decision to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong, saying the new legislation is aimed at containing the “secessionist” forces in the former British colony who have posed a “grave threat” to the country’s national security and sovereignty.
- In an apparent move to blunt any international backlash, China has sent demarches to India and several other countries explaining the reason for the new draft legislation with a reminder that upholding national security in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is purely China’s internal affair and no foreign country may interfere in this matter.
- The legislation for upholding national security in the Hong Kong SAR is purely China’s internal affair and No foreign country may interfere in this matter – the demarche said.
Background: Law and Impact
- China on 22nd May 2020 introduced the draft of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong in its parliament to tighten Beijing’s control over Hong Kong, the former British colony.
- This could be the biggest blow to the territory’s autonomy and personal freedoms since 1997 when it came under Chinese rule.
- Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China.
- It has observed a “one country, two systems” policy since Britain returned sovereignty to China on July 1, 1997, which has allowed it certain freedoms the rest of China does not have.
- The demarche said since the return of Hong Kong to China 23 years ago, the Hong Kong SAR has not acted out its constitutional duty for national security in line with China’s Constitution and the Basic Law.
- While the seven-month-long agitation last year in which millions took part subsided during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis from January to April, protesters returned to streets this month, with the pro-autonomy and pro-freedom legislators grappling with the security officials in local legislature protesting against the curbs.
Special Status of Hong Kong
- Since the return to China in 1997, Hong Kong has been governed by the Basic Law, which allows the territory “to enjoy executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication”, barring matters of defence and foreign affairs.
- The Basic Law requires Hong Kong to pass national security legislation, but past attempts to do so were shelved when the moves triggered wide protests.
- The law will also for the first time allow China’s national security organs to formally operate in Hong Kong. Pa
-Source: The Hindu