Hong Kong's freedom is at stake as China imposes National Security law

Within months, if not weeks, Hong Kong will find itself subject to the subversion laws modelled on those which stifle any dissent in China.

Its freedoms, no longer guaranteed.

There are many concerning things about the National Security law imposed on Hong Kong, not least the fact it has been brought in without any debate or public consultation in the autonomous region.

It is the first law carrying criminal penalties which China has unilaterally introduced, prompting fears it won't be the last.

Delegates stand to greet Chinese President Xi Jinping as China's ceremonial legislature endorses the national security law for Hong Kong. Credit: AP

The Chinese Government claims the anti-secession law is necessary to plug loopholes in national security, and vital to restore peace and stability in Hong Kong.

Far from threaten the one country, two systems agreement, Beijing claims it will uphold its guarantees.

Following mass arrests on Wednesday, there were only some low-key demonstrations in Hong Kong as the law passed on Thursday afternoon.

  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says he is " deeply concerned" about the latest steps by the Chinese Government

It appears to have given rise to a sentiment that independence is now the only way out.

For China to impose a law which seeks to punish any form of subversion and give its security forces the power to act on the streets of Hong Kong, attacks the very core of Hong Kong's autonomy.

Protesters clashed with police in Hong Kong on Wednesday ahead of the passing of the bill. Credit: AP

The freedom to protest, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are all at stake now.

The new legislation will seek to track and punish anyone or any organisation stepping out of line.

One pro-democracy member of the city's Legislative council told ITV News the law has all the hallmarks of a dictatorship.

The day they have always feared, has arrived.

Under the Sino-British handover agreement signed in 1997, Hong Kong's autonomy was meant to be guaranteed until 2047.

What happened in Beijing on Thursday, appears intent on circumventing that agreement.

Riot police were on guard for further disruption on Thursday. Credit: AP

The UK Government has condemned such flagrant disregard for a deal to which it was a signatory.

A statement issued by the Foreign Secretary accused China of exacerbating the existing deep divisions in Hong Kong society.

The United States Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo has gone as far to say that based on the facts, Hong Kong is no longer an autonomy.

The aim of Beijing appears to be to have this new legislation in place before Hong Kong's elections in September.

The stage has been set for another summer of discontent in the region.

Hong Kong has emerged from lockdown into the severest of Chinese crackdowns.