Hong Kong head of government, Carrie Lam, has tried to calm international corporations and investors who are alarmed by the planned security law for the financial metropolis. The controversial law will „only target a handful of lawbreakers,“ Lam told journalists today.
Fears that the freedoms for companies in the Chinese Special Administrative Region could be endangered are „completely unfounded“. „Hong Kong’s freedoms will be preserved, and Hong Kong’s vitality and basic values regarding the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, various rights and freedoms for people will continue to exist,“ said Lam, who previously announced that her government would go ahead with the Beijing security law „Fully cooperate“. The proposed law protects „the vast majority of law-abiding, peace-loving citizens“.
Law should ban „separatism“
Lam was similar to Beijing’s chief envoy for Hong Kong, Xie Feng, who said yesterday that there was “absolutely no need to panic” about a law that was supposed to stop “violent and terrorist forces”.
When asked by a journalist whether mainland China officials could arrest protesters in Hong Kong, Lam said, „In your imagination.“ Government-critical protests would continue to be allowed „if they take place legally.“ She did not explain what was considered illegal under the new law.
The security law was launched on Friday by the National People’s Congress in Beijing. It is said to ban „separatism“ and „turmoil“ in Hong Kong and is a reaction to the months of mass protests last year. Many Hong Kong citizens fear that the law will severely restrict civil rights in the Special Administrative Region.
On Sunday, plans for the security law had resulted in the worst clashes between demonstrators and Hong Kong police in months. Further protests are expected.