National Security Law for HK is not a toothless tiger
Published: Jun 30, 2020 05:13 PM

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Hong Kong media reported that the Standing Committee of China's top legislature passed the national security law for Hong Kong Tuesday morning.  The law will be effective from July 1, Wednesday. 

Wednesday is also the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China. The law will end the wanton interference into Hong Kong affairs by foreign forces such as the US. Some extremists in Hong Kong who have betrayed the city and the country will no longer be able to skip away from legal punishment. Some people call this new law marks Hong Kong's second return. I think this is an apt description. This is indeed a historic juncture. 

Also on Tuesday morning, Joshua Wong announced his withdrawal from the "Demosistō", the secessionist group he established. Another two founders, Nathan Law and Agnes Chow, also announced to quit following Wong. The group disbanded Tuesday afternoon. 

Another secessionist group, the Hong Kong National Front, announced it would dismiss all Hong Kong members on Tuesday. 

This is the latest sign that these forces that sell Hong Kong and sell the country truly feel the deterrence of the national security law. There are only a few hours left for them to pull themselves back before it is too late.

There may be some extreme forces who are reluctant to admit their failure. Some may even continue to make provocations. But the national security law is not a toothless tiger. Those who breach it will face legal consequences. 

The US State Department said Tuesday morning it will end exports of US-made defense equipment to Hong Kong. The US Commerce Department also said it will suspend the preferential treatment for Hong Kong in terms of exempting US companies from having to apply for export licenses. But they did not touch Hong Kong's special trade status. 

The impact of such US moves will be limited. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam also said in a routine press conference on Tuesday that the impact on Hong Kong will be minor.

I also posted a few tweets. One of them says, "These measures only have symbolic impact. They cannot frighten Hong Kong, let alone Beijing. Washington has less resources and will to engage in the Hong Kong battle than Beijing. The US is doomed to lose this time and Hong Kong will continue to prosper."

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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