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Xinhua, China’s state run news agency is reporting that a poll revealed 66 percent of Hong Kong residents were in support of the law which punishes acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces with up to life in prison. However, the law has been severely opposed by Western governments and is seen as an infringement on Hong Kong’s independence which was granted by Britain and China in 1997.
The poll was conducted by the Hong Kong Research Association between July 2 and July 5 through random telephone interviews with 1,097 Hong Kong residents aged at or above 18 years old.
Xinhua claims that 66 percent of the respondents said they are “very supportive” or “supportive” of the implementation of the law in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, 80 percent believed that the implementation of the law in Hong Kong would not have a negative impact on the prospect of Hong Kong.
A total of 62 percent said they are “very supportive” or “supportive” of the law’s provision that the vast majority of cases concerning offences endangering national security in Hong Kong will be handled by the regional government.
Commenting on the results, the Hong Kong Research Association said: “Only in a secure and stable environment can Hong Kong residents’ legitimate rights and freedoms be guaranteed.”
The polling agency called on the Hong Kong Government which is led by Carrie Lam to strengthen public education and promotion to address people’s concerns and enhance their understanding of the law.
It comes after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced measures to assist Hong Kong citizens in starting a new life in the country, including extending visas by five years.
The PM also suspended an extradition agreement with Hong Kong, something which has opposed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
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He added: “There will be citizens of Hong Kong who may be looking to move elsewhere, to start a new life somewhere else, to take their skills, their businesses.
“If there are businesses that wish to relocate to Australia, creating jobs, bringing investment, creating opportunities for Australia then we will be very proactive in seeking to encourage that.”
The Chinese embassy in Australia said in a statement however: “We urge the Australian side to immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs under any pretext or in any way.”
“Otherwise it will lead to nothing but lifting a rock only to hit its own feet.”
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At the same time, Boris Johnson said the UK government was “reviewing” its extradition arrangements with Hong Kong.
A Downing Street spokesman, said: “We are currently assessing the national security law and its legal ramifications in terms of extradition with Hong Kong.
“There are already extensive extradition safeguards in the UK.
“The courts are required to bar a person’s extradition to any country if it would be incompatible with their human rights or if the request appears to be motivated by their political opinion.”
Meanwhile, the United States imposed human rights sanctions on four Chinese individuals earlier today.
These include China’s Xinjiang region’s Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, according to the U.S. Treasury Department’s website.
The Treasury did not specify why the sanctions were imposed, though Donald Trump is putting pressure on China at a time of heightened tensions.
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