What impact will Hong Kong’s new national security legislation have?
Article 23 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, covering treason, secession, sedition, and subversion, has been a controversial issue in the region for some time, but on the 30th June 2020 Beijing voted to bypass Hong Kong’s legislative process to pass a framework of new national security laws. The new laws are still being drawn up so details are scant, but the legislation is widely seen as an attempt at criminalising secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign countries in Hong Kong, and is expected to have the maximum penalty of a life sentence. This move is widely seen as an end to Hong Kong’s autonomy, but it is also raising a number of other concerns. How will Hong Kong’s new national security law impact the city’s future?
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While this is largely seen as a negative development in the international press there has been a need to amend the Crime Ordinance of Hong Kong’s penal law since it was added in 1971. If the Hong Kong protest movement continued the city would likely see investment, business and money leave the region due to continued disruptions, violence and uncertainties. This unprecedented legal change will only affect a small number of the most radical and vocal democracy advocates in Hong Kong, while many other view this as a positive step for business. With a hefty $6m being invested in ‘re-launch Hong Kong’ PR campaign being led by Consulum, the PR firm that aided Saudi Arabia during the fall out of the Jamal Khashoggi murder, the city now looks in a strong position to see a boost investor sentiment and a return to normality for Hong Kong.