Canada has expressed “strong concern” over China’s move of passing national security legislation for Hong Kong and updated advisory warning citizens from travelling to the special administrative region citing potential impacts of the new legislation.
“Canada joins the international community in reiterating its serious concern at the passage of national security legislation for Hong Kong by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China,” Canada’s foreign minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement.
“This legislation was enacted in a secretive process, without the participation of Hong Kong’s legislature, judiciary or people, and in violation of international obligations,” the Minister said.
The new law is said to criminalize activities supporting secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign or external forces. It also empowers Beijing to establish a new security office in Hong Kong, with its own law enforcement personnel – neither of which would come under the local authority’s jurisdiction
This office can send some cases to be tried in mainland China – but Beijing has said it will only have that power over a “tiny number” of cases.
The Canadian leader said the process demonstrated disregard for Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the high degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework.
“Hong Kong’s role as a global hub was built on that foundation. Without it, Canada is forced to reassess existing arrangements,” Champagne said.
“Effective immediately, Canada will treat exports of sensitive goods to Hong Kong in the same way as those destined for China. Canada will not permit the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong,” he added.
Canada has also suspended the Canada-Hong Kong extradition treaty.
“Finally, we have updated our travel advice for Hong Kong in order to advise Canadians of the potential impacts of the new national security legislation,” he said.
“Canada will continue to support the many meaningful exchanges between Canada and Hong Kong, while standing up for the people of Hong Kong,” he added.
The Chinese Parliament on June 30 passed the controversial legislation for Hong Kong, ignoring the worldwide outcry and protest in the semi-autonomous city against the law.
According to the new law, arson and vandalizing public transport with an intent to intimidate the Hong Kong government or Chinese government for political purposes will constitute acts of terrorism
Britain, the United States, and Japan say the law undermines the letter and spirit of the legal framework for the handover of Hong Kong that was originally reached. It guaranteed Hong Kong autonomy over its legislative and judicial affairs for 50 years.