After over a year of protests in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong regarding an impending security law from the Peoples’ Republic of China, the new law has finally been passed and includes language that could be considered far reaching.
Reported by Axios, China’s new security law that was forced onto Hong Kong includes unsettling language that could chill freedom of speech worldwide if anyone ever wants to visit China or Hong Kong.
“Why it matters: China has long sought to crush organized dissent abroad through quiet threats and coercion. Now it has codified that practice into law — potentially forcing people and companies around the world to choose between speaking freely and ever stepping foot in Hong Kong again.
What’s happening: Article 38 of the national security law states, ‘This Law shall apply to offences under this Law committed against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from outside the Region by a person who is not a permanent resident of the Region.’
- In other words, every provision of the law applies to everyone outside of Hong Kong — including you.”
Furthermore, according to legal experts who have reportedly been in contact with Axios, the law is purposefully worded in order to penalize foreign nationals who enter China or Hong Kong, or who have family or property in China or Hong Kong.
” ‘It literally applies to every single person on the planet. This is how it reads,’ said Wang Minyao, a Chinese-American lawyer based in New York. ‘If I appear at a congressional committee in D.C. and say something critical, that literally would be a violation of this law.’ “
This means that anytime anyone anywhere says something critical of China, they are in violation of Chinese law and the only barrier to punishment is China’s ability to enforce it abroad.
Foreigners have increasingly become a problem for China in our globalized society and recently as reported on Niche Gamer, they have taken steps to limit exposure that citizens have to foreigners through video games.
Hong Kong citizens have been fighting this law for over a year, before officials in Beijing forced it into effect earlier this year.
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