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2020-05-22 HKT 09:27
There was a mixed reaction on Friday to news that Beijing intends to put forward its own version of a national security law for Hong Kong, with warnings that it would surely erode freedoms in the SAR and calls for people to rethink their opposition to the mainland.
Beijing officials announced late on Thursday that a motion on the "setting up of comprehensive legal and enforcement mechanisms, in order to uphold national security" in Hong Kong would appear in the National People's Congress plenary agenda. The NPC session starts on Friday.
Speaking on an RTHK programme on Friday, pro-government lawmaker Paul Tse said it was time for some Hong Kong people to reconsider their strategy of constantly opposing the mainland.
He said the fact that Beijing was now attempting a new way to introduce national security laws showed that it had lost patience with the SAR.
Speaking on the same programme, the principal lecturer at the University of Hong Kong's law faculty, Eric Cheung, expressed deep concern at Beijing's move and said it would "almost certainly" erode people's rights and freedoms.
Cheung said there were already laws in place to tackle offences seen during the anti-extradition protests of the last year, including criminal damage and illegal assembly.
He believed the only reason for implementing national security legislation was to further clamp down on basic rights such as freedom of expression.
Political scientist Dixon Sing said a big data analysis had shown a correlation between the announcement of the new law and discussions of emigration.
The University of Science and Technology academic said there would be resistance in the SAR, though it wasn't clear how successful it would be.
"I think Hong Kong will emerge as a long-term struggle, a crusade for democracy, just like Taiwan and South Korea," he told RTHK's Backchat programme. "Greater repression leads to greater resistance.
"What needs to be clarified in the medium and long term will be the exact form, the nature, the effectiveness of that kind of resistance given the fact that the opponent faced by Hong Kong people is very different from those faced by Taiwanese and South Koreans in the past few decades."
Speaking on the same programme, Alan Lung, a governor of the Path of Democracy think tank founded by Executive Council member Ronny Tong, said Hong Kong and Beijing saw the "One Country, Two Systems" principle in a different way.
"I think the pan-democrats need to engage more and understand how they (Beijing) think before they prescribe solutions to Hong Kong.
Asked how they would do so, Lung said: "Every pan-democrat has somebody following him or her. There are channels, even for the pan-democrats, to talk.
"There will be dialogue if they take a more sensible position."
Last updated: 2020-05-22 HKT 10:18