May 22, 2020

Beginning of the end for Hong Kong


The big news on Hong Kong came on Thursday night.
National People’s Congress (NPC) spokesperson Zhang Yesui announced that the NPC will deliberate a “Draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and implementation mechanism for the safeguarding of national security in Hong Kong.”
What that means:

  • The draft decision is NOT the much-talked about National Security Law.
  • Instead, the draft decision, once passed, will authorize the NPC Standing Committee to start drafting such legislation.

The upshot: The mainland will be able to enforce national security provisions in Hong Kong without the need for the Hong Kong Legislative Council to pass such a law.
Get smart: This is the beginning of the end for Hong Kong. The new law will give Beijing wide latitude to punish behaviors that “threaten national security.” That means tighter control over media, education, and free speech.
Our take: Xi Jinping is fed up with Hong Kong and is ready to take a tougher line – no matter the consequences.

What to watch: The NPC Standing Committee will meet in June and could pass the legislation then.

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Xinhua: 十三届全国人大三次会议将审议《全国人民代表大会关于建立健全香港特别行政区维护国家安全的法律制度和执行机制的决定(草案)
NPC: 王晨作关于《全国人民代表大会关于建立健全香港特别行政区维护国家安全的法律制度和执行机制的决定(草案)》的说明

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