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CCP Trying to Pass Article 23 in Hong Kong Again

BBC Chinese Edition reported that the CCP is once again pushing to add the controversial “Article 23” to Hong Kong’s constitution. A prior attempt to implement the legislation in 2003 led to massive street protests of approximately half a million people in Hong Kong. According to Wikipedia, Article 23 states that Hong Kong “shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.”

The CCP now has tighter control over Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong government is now able to push for Article 23 once again. The article defines various “crimes against national security” and allows the government to arrest people under those charges.

The government has opened a one-month period for public feedback on the article, January 30 to February 28. The article defines nine chapters addressing five categories of activities posing threats to national security:

  • Treason: Expanding offenses to cover behaviors such as joining foreign armed forces at war with China and intending to harm China’s sovereignty.
  • Rebellion and Secession: Extending the scope of incitement to secession to all public officials and introducing the offense of rebellion for more serious acts.
  • Theft of State Secrets and Espionage: Detailed definition of state secrets, covering all public officials, with prohibition on illegal acquisition and disclosure, and addition of modern espionage activities.
  • Destructive Activities: Preventing damage to public infrastructure and introducing penalties for acts harming national security via computer systems.
  • Overseas interference: Prohibiting actions undermining Hong Kong affairs abroad and expanding regulations to monitor all organizations in Hong Kong, including foreign organizations; as long as the authorities “reasonally believe” that it is needed for the state security, it can stop the relevant organization’s operations.

BBC, January 30, 2024

Wikipedia, Retrieved February 14, 2024