China’s HK national security law (1) infographic
Graphic shows national security law timeline.


Year of China’s national security law

By Duncan Mil

June 30, 2021 - One year after Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong, authorities have arrested more than 100 people. The law prohibits subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party has grown tired of the former British colony’s high degree of autonomy. The national security law is smothering dissent -- transforming the Asian financial hub into another Chinese megacity.

The disappearance from newsstands of Apple Daily after 26 years undercuts Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s assurances that the security law would “only target an extremely small minority of illegal and criminal acts.”

Of some 117 people arrested under the law to date, are some of Hong Kong’s most prominent democracy advocates, such as former student leader Joshua Wong, activist Andy Li, and Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai.

The security law even provides worldwide jurisdiction to prosecute non-Hong Kong residents for alleged offences outside Hong Kong.

Under the law, Beijing could force the Hong Kong government to make a seemingly benign extradition request. For instance, for a British citizen who happens to be travelling in Greece or Belgium -- two of 20 countries with extradition treaties with Hong Kong.

Adding national security charges once people arrive in Hong Kong could enable them to be extradited to the mainland. Canada, the U.S., Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany have all suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong.

PUBLISHED: 30/06/2021; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images