The Civil Society in Hong Kong in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Impact of Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

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Leonid Kyianytsia


The present article addresses the origins and potential effects of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as adopted on June 30, 2020 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on the contemporary civil society of Hong Kong. Based on the critical analysis of the academic literature, norms of constitutional jurisprudence pertaining to the legal status of Hong Kong within China, and relevant news items, this study shows why the adoption of that national security law should be considered a rupture in the evolution of the political regime of the former colony that was originally inspired by the liberal rule of law model based on the maxim of "one country, two systems". In the 2010s, the progress of the integration of the Hong Kong liberal rule of law system to the socialist rule of law in mainland China has led to increased civil society mobilizations in the Hong Kong region, which was accompanied by tendencies toward a certain radicalization of part of the local civil society. In this context, the national security law implements a series of reforms to the institutions of the autonomous region of Hong Kong, while codifying new criminal law provision that entail a limitation of the possibility for Hong Kong-based local civil society organizations to defy the socialist system of the People’s Republic of China.


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Kyianytsia, L. (2022). The Civil Society in Hong Kong in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Impact of Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. National Interest, 2(8), 44–56. Retrieved from
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