Hong Kong’s future unsettled as China tightens the leash

Sunday, July 19, 2020 - 12:31 in Mathematics & Economics

Sweeping new national security legislation giving Chinese authorities powers to quash demonstrations and punish dissenters sparked protests in Hong Kong on Wednesday, the 23rd anniversary of the transfer of the territory from British to Chinese control. The new law, which includes 66 articles, was unveiled Tuesday evening and criminalizes any acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign powers, with a maximum sentence of life in prison. The far-reaching measure also allows Beijing to create a security agency that will have the authority to overrule Hong Kong’s legal system and enforce the new rules. The move has raised questions about the fate of the semiautonomous territory and global financial hub whose political and economic freedoms were guaranteed by a transition agreement between Britain and China that runs until 2047. The Gazette spoke with James Robson, the James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Studies and director...

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