China Considers New National Security Law for Hong Kong

A poster of Xi Jingping, leader of China's ruling Communist Party, in this still from FRONTLINE's "Battle for Hong Kong."

A poster of Xi Jingping, leader of China's ruling Communist Party, in this still from FRONTLINE's "Battle for Hong Kong."

May 21, 2020

The Chinese government took another step towards curbing autonomy in Hong Kong this week, as its parliament announced that it would consider a bill to “safeguard national security” in the global financial center.

The bill, which was announced at a news conference on Thursday, would allow Beijing to sidestep Hong Kong’s governing body in implementing changes to its legal system and security enforcement.

As a former British colony, Hong Kong currently enjoys some civil liberties that the mainland does not. China is set to take full possession of the city in 2047, but in the meantime, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have decried what they see as increasing attempts by the Chinese government to exert greater control.

Last year, hundreds of thousands of residents took to the streets to rally against a bill introduced by the local administration that would allow extraditions to mainland China. Their unprecedented protests, and the resulting police crackdown, were documented in FRONTLINE’s Battle for Hong Kong.

“China is getting more and more powerful,” Momo, a nurse and protester, told FRONTLINE in the film. “I never thought about it before, but now I’m thinking there’s only 20-plus years before 2047. Time will fly by. Will I get married in the future? Will I have children? How do I carry on living here in Hong Kong?”

Watch Battle for Hong Kong now:

Karen Pinchin

Karen Pinchin, Tow Journalism Fellow, FRONTLINE/Columbia Journalism Fellowship, FRONTLINE



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