China has appointed a hard-line figure as head of its new security agency in Hong Kong. Zheng Yanxiong is best known for his role in handling a protest over a land dispute within the southern Chinese village of Wukan.
The new agency, answering on to Beijing, is being found out to enforce a draconian security law passed in the week in Hong Kong. Opponents of the law say it erodes the territory’s freedoms.
The law targets secession, subversion, and terrorism with punishments of up to life in prison. Several leading pro-democracy activists have stepped down from their roles and one among them, one-time student leader and native legislator Nathan Law, has fled the territory.
Separately, one among 10 people arrested using the new law during protests on Wednesday has become the primary to be charged thereunder. Hundreds were detained during the clashes.
The motorcyclist, accused of riding into a gaggle of police carrying a flag calling for the liberation of Hong Kong, was charged with inciting secession and terrorism. Beijing has dismissed criticism of the law, saying it’s necessary to prevent the sort of pro-democracy protests seen in Hong Kong during much of 2019.
Hong Kong’s sovereignty was handed back to China by Britain in 1997 and certain rights were alleged to be guaranteed for a minimum of 50 years under the “one country, two systems” agreement.
But China has rejected complaints by the united kingdom and other Western nations that it’s in breach of those guarantees as interference in its internal affairs.
What can we realize China’s new appointees?
Mr. Zheng’s most up-to-date senior position was as secretary-general of the Communist Party committee within the southern province of Guangdong. But he’s best referred to as political boss within the Guangdong city of Shanwei when a protest by villagers in Wukan seeking compensation for land requisitioned by the govt broke call in 2011.
He famously criticized the villagers for the lecture “a few rotten foreign media organizations” rather than the govt about their grievances. “These media organizations will only be happy when our socialist county falls apart,” he said in remarks broadcast on local TV.
The unrest led to a rare concession by the authorities, with the direct election of a well-liked local leader. However, five years later he was jailed for corruption and therefore the protests were quashed.
Though by then Mr. Zheng was not in his Shanxei role, he was still a senior party official in Guangdong. Other appointments by Beijing include Luo Huining, who has been made an adviser to Hong Kong’s chief executive on the new security law.
Mr. Luo currently heads Beijing’s liaison office within the territory. Veteran Hong Kong official Eric Chan will head the territory’s national security commission.
What is a safety law?
The law is wide-ranging, making inciting hatred of China’s central government and Hong Kong’s regional government offenses. It also allows for closed-door trials, wire-tapping of suspects, and therefore the potential for suspects to be tried on the Chinese mainland.
Acts including damaging conveyance facilities – which frequently happened during the 2019 protests – are often considered terrorism. There also are concerns over online freedom as internet providers may need handy over data if requested by police.
What has the reaction been from overseas?
US lawmakers have unanimously approved new Hong Kong-related sanctions, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying the law amounted to a “brutal, sweeping crackdown against the people of Hong Kong, intended to destroy the freedoms they were promised”.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the passing of the law was a “clear and high breach” of the 1985 Sino-British joint declaration. The UK has offered a residency, and possible citizenship, to up to 3 million Hong Kongers within the wake of the law’s implementation.
Numerous others have also expressed strong concerns. Australia revealed that, just like the UK, it had been considering offering a secure haven to Hong Kongers. China has responded by saying Hong Kong’s affairs are “none of your business”.
However, Cuba – on behalf of 53 countries – welcomed the law at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Source: bbc news