Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The 79 days of peaceful demonstrations and occupations grouped under the name of "Occupy Central with Peace and Love" fall outside of the mandate of the new national security law approved by mainland China. This is according to Elsie Leung Oi-sie, Hong Kong’s former "Minister of Justice", who is now head of the Basic Law Committee for the National People’s Congress.
According to Leung, the new legislation [hotly contested for the excessive powers granted to the public authorities - ed] provided a framework to define national security and it was wrong to think that it targeted activities by a “small group of people in Hong Kong”. the new law outlaws acts endangering national state security and under the related provisions these required “organising, planning and implementing” acts to threaten the nation’s unity".
The lawyer told Commercial Radio it is a question of intent:"They only aimed to change a legal decision. This is not an act to overthrow the NPC standing committee or the whole political system of the nation". It is a Hong Kong issue: They pushed to change the NPC decision. They also did not ask people to organize armed forces to overthrow the NPC decision."
Leung is referring to the draft electoral reform for Hong Kong, presented in August 2014 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in Beijing, confirmed by the Territory executive. In practice, the Chinese central government wanted to vet contenders for the position of Chief Executive Officer and so "granted" the Territory choose between two or three candidates screened by an election committee made up of members close to China.
This resulted in tens of thousands of people deciding to join the peaceful movement "Occupy Central with Peace and Love", which for months held the local government hostage with demands for a real democratic reform. On 17 June 2015, the Territory Legislative Council rejected Beijing’s proposal by just 8 votes.
Not even those who march every year in Hong Kong to demand a revision of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the end of Communist Party rule in China will be affected by the new law. Leung said they are merely shouting slogans would not be regarded as a violation of the legislation .