On June 30, 2020, China introduced the National Security Law (NSL) in Hong Kong in response to the large-scale democratic protests that swept Hong Kong last year.
Controversial laws have weakened Hong Kong’s judicial autonomy, making it easier to punish protesters and activists. It penalizes secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Since the enactment of the bill, more than 100 people have been arrested in accordance with its regulations, including protesters, democratic politicians and journalists.
China’s New Law: Why Is Hong Kong Concerned?
Beijing insists that the law is necessary to bring stability to the city, but critics say it violates the “one country, two systems” principle, according to which the former British colony returned to China.
However, the only thing many Hong Kong people agree with is that life has undergone a fundamental change in the year the law was promulgated. We talked with seven of them to understand the specific methods.
The name has been changed to protect the identity.
Fleeing civil servant
Sander * quit his dream job as a civil servant and moved to the UK in response to the plan launched by the NSL.
Sander and son
explain that Sandra said starting a new life in the UK is a challenge
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It is allowed to hold British National (Overseas) passports or BNOs, which were issued to Hong Kong residents before being repatriated in 1997 China applies for a special type of visa that enables them to quickly obtain settlement and citizenship.
When Sander chose to resign instead of taking an oath to require all public officials to swear allegiance to the Hong Kong government, he decided to move to Manchester under the plan.
He said he was worried that public officials must perform political tasks against their conscience in order to serve the increasingly authoritarian government.
“The National Security Law purges all people that Beijing does not like, including pan-democrats and Hong Kong people who do not support the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
A young woman holding a BNO passport
image caption Hong Kong settlers holding a BNO passport can apply for a special British visa
Sander is very happy to have the opportunity to start a new life in the UK, but also expressed that there are new challenges and difficult.
“It is often difficult for Hong Kong people to apply for national insurance and driving licenses,” he said. Both of these documents are essential when looking for a job. He spent two months looking for a job, but received no response from anyone.
Sander said he missed Hong Kong, especially sirloin noodles and other foods. But he is pessimistic about his political future, and he is not even sure whether he will visit him.