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US Consul in Hong Kong calls China’s new security law “tragedy”

Hong Kong’s new security law – BBC News

US Consul in Hong Kong calls China's new security law'tragedy'

Law outlaws &# 171; separatist and subversive activities&# 187; in the city, as well as foreign interference in the internal affairs of Hong Kong

HONG KONG – A top US diplomat in Hong Kong on Monday called it a “tragedy” to use the new national security law to curtail “fundamental freedoms” in this financial center of Asia and create “an atmosphere of coercion and self-censorship.”.

“Using the National Security Act to undermine fundamental freedoms and create an atmosphere of coercion and self-censorship is a tragedy for Hong Kong,” the US Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau Hanscom Smith told reporters. “Hong Kong has achieved success precisely because of its openness, and we will do everything to keep it”.

The law, introduced last week after last year’s anti-government protests in Hong Kong, makes it illegal for separatist, subversive or terrorist activities, as well as foreign interference in the city’s internal affairs. Anyone who takes part in such actions as chanting slogans, raising banners and flags calling for the independence of the city is breaking the law, regardless of whether it was accompanied by violence or not.

Critics see this as Beijing’s most confident move to break down the legal “defensive wall” between the former British colony and the CCP’s authoritarian system on the mainland..

After the law came into force, the government also clarified that the popular protest slogan “Free Hong Kong, the Revolution of Our Time” has separatist connotations and is therefore also prohibited.

Hong Kong public libraries have begun to seize books written by pro-democracy authors, including activist Joshua Wong and politician Tanya Chan. The authority in charge of the libraries says the seized books are being checked for compliance with the new law.

Many pro-democracy stores that have publicly declared their solidarity with the demonstrators have removed the pro-democracy stickers and artwork that adorned their walls for fear they might be breaking the new law..

Tong Ying Kit, 23, is the first Hong Kong resident to be charged under the new law. He allegedly drove into a group of police officers holding a flag with the slogan “Free Hong Kong, the revolution of our time”.

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