The Chinese regime has been using the National Security Law to “drastically curtail” the freedom of expression, the UK government said in its latest six-monthly report on the situation in the former British colony.
Of particular concern has been the draconian National Security Law imposed by the Chinese regime on Hong Kong in June 2020, which criminalizes individuals for any acts of subversion, secession, and collusion with foreign forces against the Chinese Communist Party, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Raab said in the foreword: “The National Security Law is not being used for its original purpose, as stated by Beijing, to target just ‘a tiny number of criminals who seriously endanger national security.’
“Rather it has been used to drastically curtail the space for the expression of alternative political views and deter freedom of expression and legitimate political debate.
“We are now seeing the effects of a law with loosely defined provisions, backed up with the threat of potentially long jail sentences and transfer of cases to mainland China for prosecution and sentencing.”
Raab said the situation has been “deeply concerning” but the UK has “stood up for its values and for the people of Hong Kong.”
At a routine press briefing in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin condemned the British report, which he said was “full of ideological bias.”
He said the National Security Law had helped Hong Kong “regain stability and return to the right track.”
Wang urged the UK to “let go of its old colonial dream” and “stop meddling in China’s domestic affairs including Hong Kong affairs.”