Luo Huining, head of the People's Republic of China's liaison office in Hong Kong, has issued a new call for a set of hotly debated national security laws, known as Article 23, to be passed into law in order to clamp down on violence, foreign interference, and pro-democracy movements in the former British colony. Previous attempts by the Chinese officials to pass Article 23 went down in flames in 2003 when mass protests rocked the semi-independent city.
In a speech on national security on April 15, 2020, Luo said the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong threatening not only the rule of law, but the Chinese way of life, "If the anthill eroding the rule of law is not cleared, the dam of national security will be destroyed and the well-being on all Hong Kong Resident will be damaged." He went on to state, "there's a need to put effort into maintaining the national security legal system and enforcement system as soon as possible."
The mass protests in Hong Kong against the government in Beijing in June 2019, when activists called attention to the central governments increasing interference in city affairs. While COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines have caused a lull in the amount of protests, the tension between Beijing and Hong Kong remains. On April 14, Reuters published a report in which three of Hong Kong's top judges claimed the independence of the city's judiciary was under assault from the Communist Party, "the judiciary is in a fight for its survival."
The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.