HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam mentioned Tuesday that she hopes opponents of a brand new nationwide safety legislation being imposed by China don’t “demonize and stigmatize” the laws as a result of doing so would imply pitting themselves in opposition to residents of the semi-autonomous Chinese language territory.
“The individuals of Hong Kong wish to see stability once more, they need a protected setting the place they will work and dwell,” Lam advised reporters.
She mentioned individuals had been “sick and drained” of violence in Hong Kong and intervention by international forces within the metropolis.
China’s ceremonial parliament in Might permitted the choice to enact a nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong, aimed toward curbing subversive, secessionist, terrorist and international intervention actions within the metropolis following months of anti-government protests final yr.
“We’re a part of the Individuals’s Republic of China, however we don’t have a mechanism to guard nationwide safety,” Lam mentioned. “This can be a danger not simply to over 7 million individuals in Hong Kong, it’s additionally a danger to 1.four billion individuals within the nation.”
Lam spoke forward of a gathering this week by the Standing Committee of the Nationwide Individuals’s Congress, which workout routines legislative energy in China. The legislation is just not on the assembly’s agenda, however Hong Kong delegate Tam Yiu Chung mentioned in an interview Monday that gadgets may very well be added.
Critics think about the upcoming laws an assault on the “one nation, two programs” framework during which China promised Hong Kong a excessive diploma of autonomy and freedoms not discovered on the mainland when the previous British colony was returned to Chinese language management in 1997. They concern that the legislation shall be used to curb any dissent in Hong Kong.
Particulars concerning the legislation haven’t been disclosed, although Lam mentioned the specifics shall be established. She mentioned individuals “don’t want to fret” about this as a result of on the finish of the day, it’s for Hong Kong’s authorities to implement the legislation.”
“Please settle for and perceive why we now have to do it,” she mentioned. “The one objective of this activity is to guard Hong Kong and the nation.”
The anti-government protests had subsiding throughout coronavirus restrictions, however have returned to town in latest weeks, though social distancing measures stay in place.
Lam mentioned Hong Kong will loosen up its measures progressively.
“It might be dangerous if we fully raise the measures,” she mentioned. “In latest instances in some cities comparable to Beijing, we now have seen imported circumstances and a few nations have seen an inflow of circumstances after enjoyable measures.”
Hong Kong’s secretary for meals and well being, Sophia Chan, mentioned Tuesday that the ban on public gatherings shall be relaxed from eight to 50 individuals.
Eating places will now not be restricted by capability. For institutions comparable to bars and karaoke lounges, the utmost variety of friends per desk shall be doubled from eight to 16.
“The comfort is made in gentle of the easing of the epidemic. We additionally notice that sure actions should resume,” mentioned Chan, who harassed that there was “no political consideration” concerned in limiting the variety of individuals allowed in public gatherings.
Individually, a gaggle of over 50 protesters gathered in a shopping center within the metropolis’s Causeway Bay procuring district regardless of heavy riot police presence, shouting slogans and holding up flags that mentioned “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our instances.”
Police stopped and searched a number of individuals close to Victoria Park, the place protests had been initially presupposed to happen however had been later canceled. They didn’t seem to make any arrests.
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