China’s new national security law has broadened the definition of “subversion” and could pose a threat to Hong Kong people’s freedoms, said Benny Tai, associate law professor at the University of Hong Kong.
As the new law emphasizes the importance of regime safety, the definition of “subversion” is likely to be very broad when the Hong Kong government seeks its own legislation under Basic Law Article 23, said Tai, who was one of the co-founders of the Occupy movement last year.
Speaking during a Commercial Radio program on Thursday, Tai said he hopes that Hong Kong’s leaders will not push forward the legislation of Article 23 which deals with national security.
It would be better to let Hong Kong have universal suffrage before implementing a national security law in the city, he said.
The new national security law may threaten the freedom of press in Hong Kong as journalists often handle sensitive sources and documents, Bruce Lui, convenor of the Independent Commentators Association, told RTHK.
Song Xiao-zhuang, professor at Shenzhen University’s Basic Law Research Institute and a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said the new national security law will only be implemented in Hong Kong if it is put into Annex III of the Basic Law.
Hong Kong should implement the legislation of the Article 23 as early as possible, Song said.
Legco president Jasper Tsang said it is unlikely that the government will push forward the legislation of Article 23 in the short term due to insufficient support among lawmakers.
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