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Controversial Hong Kong law passed by China

  • IASbaba
  • June 2, 2020
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Controversial Hong Kong law passed by China

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-II – International Relations

In News:

  • Recently, China’s Parliament passed new legislation for Hong Kong. 

Key takeaways 

  • The law is called the “NPC Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security”. 
  • It essentially empowers the National People’s Congress (Ruling party of China) to draft new national security laws for Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Hong Kong for the first time. 
  • The laws could cover any activity that seriously endangers national security. 
  • The law is aimed at enabling measures to counter, lawfully prevent, stop and punish foreign and overseas forces which are using Hong Kong to carry out separatist or destructive activities.
  • The law has been criticised by pro-democracy parties and legal community in Hong Kong. 
  • It is being said that it undermines the “one country, two systems” model of Hong Kong. 

Important value additions 

Special Administrative Regions (SAR) 

  • They are one type of provincial-level administrative divisions of China directly under the Central People’s Government.
  • They possess the highest degree of autonomy.
  • The legal basis for the establishment of SARs is provided for by Article 31 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China of 1982. 
  • Mainland China is governed by Article 30 of the Constitution. 
  • Since 1997, Hong Kong has been governed by the Basic Law, which gives the SAR executive, legislative and independent judicial power
  • Only defence and foreign affairs matters are handled by the central government.
  • At present, there are two SARs established according to the Constitution:
    • Hong Kong SAR (former British dependency) was transferred to China in 1997. 
    • Macau SAR (Portuguese dependency) was transferred to China 1999. 
  • Generally, the two SARs are not considered to constitute a part of Mainland China, by both Chinese and SAR authorities. 

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 1st May 2020

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