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National security law marks end of HK autonomy: official

ROC Central News Agency

05/25/2020 04:00 PM

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) If China passes a controversial national security law for Hong Kong, Beijing will have broken its promise to respect Hong Kong's autonomy under the "one country, two systems" model, Taiwan's National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) said Monday.

Tsai made the comment at a legislative hearing in Taiwan, as delegates of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, prepare to discuss draft legislation on establishing a legal system and enforcement mechanisms to ensure national security in Hong Kong at its annual session which ends Thursday.

During the legislative session, opposition Kuomintang Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) asked whether, given the erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy by the Chinese Communist government, Taiwan should amend or abolish its law governing relations with Hong Kong and Macau.

In response, Tsai said legal issues are open for discussion.

When asked whether the new national security law will impact Hong Kong's financial markets and lead Hong Kong capital to flow into Taiwan, Tsai said the new law could have an impact.

In addition, Tsai said China's "one China" principle is unacceptable to Taiwan's people at present after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅) reiterated the "one China" principle on Sunday, when asked by the media whether Beijing thought Taiwan-related issues could have an adverse impact on China-U.S. relations given that Taiwan-U.S. ties have improved substantially.

Meanwhile, Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said at the legislative session that China's push for the new Hong Kong security law will seriously erode the special administrative region's autonomy and threaten its "one country, two systems" freedoms.

Lee also said he respects the Legislature's authority to decide whether to amend the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau.

According to Hong Kong analysts, if the national security law is enacted, courts specializing in national security crimes are likely to be established and be presided over by Chinese judges.

China's parliament unveiled a proposal to enact new Hong Kong security legislation during the opening day of the National People's Congress on Friday.

The proposed "enforcement mechanisms," which are expected to ban treason, subversion and sedition, are being introduced in response to last year's violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

The national security law in Hong Kong is expected to be completed within two months, according to media reports.

(By Fan Cheng-hsiang, Stanley Chung and Evelyn Kao)

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