China took an unprecedented step against Hong Kong’s legal autonomy last month, directly imposing new national security laws through its rubber-stamp parliament, bypassing the territory’s own assembly.
While a draft of the new legislation has yet to be released, it is supposed to target “splittism, subversion of state power, terrorism or interference by foreign countries or outside influences” in Hong Kong.
The new laws have raised grave concerns for Hong Kong’s political and judicial independence and its crucial role as a halfway house for the financial sector between China and the rest of the world. With China expected to establish a local branch of its own state security services, some have suggested the laws could be the effective end of the “one country, two systems” framework installed at the 1997 handover from British to Chinese rule and scheduled to last for at least 50 years.
While China’s allies in Hong Kong and abroad have voiced support for the law, the reaction from the west has been severe, with the US threatening to withdraw Hong Kong’s special trade privileges and the UK extending visa rights to up to 3m Hong Kongers.
Jamil Anderlini, the FT’s Asia editor, and Nicolle Liu, our Hong Kong correspondent, have been reporting on this story over the past weeks, from the business community’s reaction to the future of the city’s pro-democracy movement.
They can answer your questions about how the legislation will change life and business in Hong Kong as well as the geopolitical impact. Post your questions in the comments below. Nicolle and Jamil will respond periodically throughout the day on Friday.