300 held as Hong Kong law kicks in

Australia condemns Hong Kong security laws imposed by China

The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which went into effect on Tuesday night, is a major effort taken by the Chinese central government and makes secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces illegal.

Mr Johnson's commitment came after Hong Kong police made their first arrests under the new law, including one person said to have displayed a sign with the Union flag which called for Hong Kong's independence.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that his country will offer 3 million Hong Kong residents refuge and a path to citizenship in the United Kingdom in retaliation to China's new national security law, which effectively ends autonomy in the city.

China had never recognized the "unequal treaties" allowing Britain's rule of Hong Kong island, the Kowloon peninsula, and later its lease of the rural New Territories.

"The enactment and imposition of this national security law constitute a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration", Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament on July 1.

Critics say it effectively puts an end to the "one country, two systems" principle enshrined in the 1985 Joint Declaration, a legally binding agreement signed by the United Kingdom and China which protected certain freedoms in the territory for at least 50 years.

Pelosi, a fierce critic of Chinese human rights violations, said, "All freedom-loving people must condemn this horrific law" imposed by China, adding that it is specifically meant to "dismantle democratic freedoms in Hong Kong".

China bypassed Hong Kong's Legislative Council to pass the sweeping legislation without public consultation.

However, the ambassador appeared unrepentant following his visit, tweeting: "After turbulent months in the latter half of past year, the national security law will bring the order&stability to Hong Kong and get its economy back on track".

"The law also threatens the freedoms and rights protected by the joint declaration".

"We firmly oppose this and reserve the right to take corresponding measures", it added.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the legislation is aimed at a few "troublemakers" and will not affect rights and freedoms, nor investor interests.

Nearly 3 million Hong Kong residents are eligible for the passport. "It is precisely because we respect China as a leading member of the worldwide community that we expect the Chinese government to meet its global obligations to live up to its worldwide responsibilities".

The Bar Association, which represents the city's barristers, issued a scathing critique of the law, saying it dismantles the legal firewall that has existed between Hong Kong's judiciary and China's Communist Party-controlled courts.

'That had in it provisions for autonomy and democracy for Hong Kong, and democratic principles are important'. Separately, Hong Kong lawmakers passed legislation on June 4 that would punish anyone who shows disrespect for China's national anthem - something that is already a crime in the mainland.



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