Hong Kong Security Law Draws International Concern as China Condemns Criticism

Hong Kong Security Law Draws International Concern as China Condemns Criticism

HONG KONG - China has condemned foreign politicians, including British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, for their criticism of an impending security law in Hong Kong. The law, known as Article 23, targets crimes such as treason and espionage, with authorities claiming positive feedback during a recent consultation period. However, concerns have been raised internationally regarding the potential impact on human rights and freedoms.

In response to remarks from Cameron and the U.S. State Department expressing concerns about the legislation, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused them of "maliciously smearing" Hong Kong's legal framework. The statements come amid heightened scrutiny over the proposed law's vague definitions and potential extraterritorial application, raising fears of stifling dissent and restricting diplomatic activities.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Security Bureau reported overwhelming support for the legislation during the consultation, with the majority of submissions in favor of the proposed measures. However, critics argue that such laws could further erode freedoms in the financial hub, which has already faced increased government control since the imposition of a national security law in 2020.

In a separate development, Chinese lawmakers have expanded Beijing's state secrets law, marking the first update since 2010. The amendments broaden the scope of restricted information to include "work secrets," amid ongoing efforts to strengthen national security measures.

Since the enactment of the national security law, over 290 individuals have been arrested for alleged offenses, with media tycoon and pro-democracy advocate Jimmy Lai among those charged. The law, which carries severe penalties including life imprisonment, was introduced following mass protests in Hong Kong, reflecting Beijing's continued crackdown on dissent in the region.

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