A former pro-democracy lawmaker in Hong Kong said that people there are becoming “frustrated” and “disappointed” as some fear the city has lost important freedoms.
Emily Lau, a former Democratic Party member in the Hong Kong Legislative Assembly, said that some Hong Kong residents now fear that “we may have lost our freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom to demonstrate maybe not forever, but for many years.”
“That’s how sad and disappointed Hong Kong people are,” Lau told Martin Song of CNBC on Tuesday.
Beijing bypassed Hong Kong’s legislature to implement the National Security Act last year. Last month, China agreed Radical changes in the electoral system of Hong Kong Said by the critics It will hinder pro-democracy politicians.
These moves came after months of pro-democracy protests in 2019 that at times turned violent. The Chinese and Hong Kong authorities said the changes would protect national security and suppress the anti-China movement in the semi-autonomous region.
Hong Kong is a former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997. The Sino-British Joint Declaration The signing was made prior to Hong Kong’s return that the city would enjoy a “high degree of autonomy,” including an independent legislative and judicial branch.
“Rights and freedoms, including the rights and freedoms of the person, speech, press, assembly, association, travel, movement, correspondence, strike, career choice, academic research and religious belief are guaranteed by law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”
Dozens of pro-democracy activists In Hong Kong they were arrested and charged under the National Security Act. But Lau said, “I refuse to allow myself to be intimidated in silence.”
“We want China to fulfill the promises of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law,” she said, adding that she and other activists are not seeking to overthrow the Hong Kong government or the central government in Beijing.
The The Basic Law It is Hong Kong’s mini-constitution that enshrines the principle of “one country, two systems” used to govern the city.
Beijing, for its part, said that the National Security Act and Hong Kong’s electoral changes are as well In line with the “one country, two systems” framework.