Left Menu
Development News Edition

Hongkongers eye grim future as China approves national security law

A large number of Hongkongers see a bleak future for themselves after Chinese parliament approved plans for a bill that threatens to limit freedoms in the semi-autonomous state, bypassing its legislature to punish acts that subvert state power.

ANI | Hong Kong | Updated: 29-05-2020 15:52 IST | Created: 29-05-2020 15:50 IST
Hongkongers eye grim future as China approves national security law
Riot police gear up ahead of mass protests in Hong Kong (File pic). Image Credit: ANI

A large number of Hongkongers see a bleak future for themselves after Chinese parliament approved plans for a bill that threatens to limit freedoms in the semi-autonomous state, bypassing its legislature to punish acts that subvert state power. According to Germany's Deutsche Welle News, the move would likely force more and more people to choose to leave Hong Kong, a former British colony. Although it has enjoyed autonomous status since the 1997 handover when China resumed control of the territory, it has witnessed a slow erosion of its freedoms in recent years, the media reported further.

Members of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest movement fear that the new legislation will further tighten Beijing's grip on the state. Some 50,000 people, from the financial hub of 7.5 million, emigrated in the last two quarters of 2019, a time of protests and escalating violence.

Last December, around 20,000 people applied to the Hong Kong police for a Certificate of No Criminal Conviction, which is a mandatory document for anybody hoping to emigrate. This was a 60 percent increase over the same period in the previous year. Josephine, a 30-year-old journalist born in Hong Kong, told DW News that she had taken part in the protests against the government and the extradition bill that was eventually retracted late last year. She said that she had intended to stay in Hong Kong despite Beijing's tightening grip. However, she changed her mind overnight after the National People's Congress' approval of the national security law for Hong Kong.

"I would never have believed that the residents of Hong Kong would one day become refugees," she said. "I want to emigrate." She said that after the announcement there was a despondent atmosphere in the newsroom where she works.

"My colleagues and I were stumped. We had assumed that there would be a security law for Hong Kong sooner or later, but we were surprised that Beijing wanted to push it onto us like this." She said even some pro-Chinese politicians were taken aback by the move. Chou, who works in a Chinese bank, said he is also pessimistic about Hong Kong's future and wants to emigrate, ideally with his family to Canada. He told DW he had been thinking of leaving Hong Kong for a long time and the announcement about the new law had solidified his resolve.

He also said he did not want his son, who is now only two, to be subjected to random police violence later on in life if he takes part in a demonstration. He said that he had not forgotten the violent crackdown on the student and pro-democracy movement on Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. "Beijing wants complete control," he said, expressing doubts that peaceful demonstrations or debates in Hong Kong's parliament would be tolerated in the future. Nor did he think that sanctions from the West, as some politicians have called for, would help.

Woo Hong-pong, who works for an agency that is specialized in emigration to Canada and Australia, told the German newspaper that over 20 affluent clients had contacted him in the past four days. "Many of them hesitated to leave in 2019, but now they want a quick solution. They want to get out super fast," he added further.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

COVID-19: Weighing up the benefits and limitations of edtech platforms

Edtech companies shouldnt focus on merely pushing contents, but to provide an interactive, effective teaching and learning environment. ...

Shipping industry's COVID-19 resilience test could boost digitalization

The push towards digitalization in shipping industry was already happening and has been further accelerated by the pandemic as current practices are not tenable under present circumstances and would definitely not be in the future....

Health is pure science but why objectivity eludes WHO

We certainly need a global body to coordinate responses against health emergencies. However, this sheer need of humanity on this planet should not be milked by the World Organization WHO to overshadow constructive criticism and call for ref...

Videos

Latest News

INSIGHT-Eyes in the sky: Investors reach for new tools to gauge climate change risk

In the twilight years of past civilizations, astrologers would scour the heavens for signs of impending calamity. In an era where climate change is eroding age-old certainties, a new cast of characters is searching for answers in the sky.A ...

Northern Ireland's DUP calls on Sinn Fein's O'Neill to step aside

Northern Irelands Democratic Unionist Party DUP has called on the regions deputy first minister, of government partner Sinn Fein, to step aside pending a probe into her attendance at a large funeral of a party member, a spokesman said on Th...

EIB supports Edison's green investment plan with new funding of €450 million

The bank of the European Union is supporting Edisons green investment plan with new funding of 450 million. The European Investment Bank EIB has signed two separate financing operations with the Italian energy group a Green Framework Loan w...

Dhoni did not look rusty during CSK's training camp: Piyush Chawla

Spinner Piyush Chawla on Thursday said that wicket-keeper MS Dhoni did not look rusty during the Chennai Super Kings CSK training camp in March this year. The Indian Premier League IPL was slated to commence from March 29, but the tournamen...

Give Feedback