IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


23rd March, 2024 International News


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.livelaw.in/more/international/hong-kong-new-national-security-law-and-civil-liberties-251533

Context: Hong Kong's Legislative Council unanimously approved Article 23, which expands the government's authority to suppress dissent and target acts related to treason, espionage, foreign interference, state secrets, and sedition, raising worries about civil liberties and free expression.

Key Highlights

  • Hong Kong's Legislative Council has unanimously approved a new national security law, also known as Article 23, expands the government's authority to crush dissent and specifically targets treason, espionage, foreign influence, state secrets, and sedition.
  • The law imposes harsh penalties for national security violations, including life imprisonment for treason and uprising. Smaller offences, such as possessing seditious literature, can also result in severe prison sentences.
  • The legislation provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction, allowing authorities to punish persons for actions taken outside of Hong Kong.
  • Critics believe that the new legislation threatens Hong Kong's freedoms and constitutes a further loss of civil liberties. They express concern about the wide and ambiguous language of Article 23, which they believe might be used to restrict opposing viewpoints.

About Hong Kong

  • Hong Kong, a special administrative territory of China, has a significant geopolitical and economic influence on China's southern coast.
  • Hong Kong is located to the east of the Pearl River estuary, bordering Guangdong Province to the north and the South China Sea to the east, south, and west.
  • Colonial History: Following the First Opium War, China gave Hong Kong Island to Great Britain in 1842 through the Treaty of Nanking. The Territories were leased to Britain for 99 years, from 1898 to 1997.
  • Sovereignty Transfer: The Chinese-British joint declaration, issued in 1984, set the door for China to reclaim all land. Hong Kong was handed over to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997, under the concept of "one country, two systems," which guaranteed the region's autonomy and unique legal and economic systems for the next 50 years.
  • Hong Kong's growth and prosperity have been powered by its role as a major trade and financial centre. Its great harbour and strategic location have contributed to its growth into a major international trade and finance centre.
  • Despite its economic success, Hong Kong suffers a number of issues, including overpopulation, trade fluctuations, and social and political turmoil. Governance, democracy, and autonomy have all been topics of intense discussion in recent years.


Q. Which water body borders Hong Kong on three sides?

a) Pacific Ocean

b) Yellow Sea

c) South China Sea 

d) East China Sea

Answer: C