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China’s new national security laws for Hong Kong won’t fully conform to the city’s common-law tradition, according to Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng.
“It is impracticable and unreasonable to expect that everything in a national law, the National Security Law, will be exactly as what a statute in the HKSAR common law jurisdiction would be like,” she said in a blog post Sunday. It alluded to statements from the Hong Kong Bar Association and Law Society of Hong Kong arguing that new measures must conform to the city’s existing legal structure.
There is “no need for what has been described as a ‘sunset clause,’” said Cheng, adding the law will affect “an extremely small minority of criminals who threaten national security.” The measure has sparked backlash in the city and a fresh wave of protests, now entering their second year.
Last month, China’s government decided to impose new national security laws on Hong Kong aimed at punishing treason, secession and subversion by foreign forces. Also, the country’s internal security services would be able to operate in the city. The measures, which are expected to take effect later this year, have raised fears about the city’s freedoms and autonomy from the mainland. They’ve prompted a rebuke from the U.S.
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