The Government of Macau will create a unit dedicated to enforcing a Chinese state security law, a decision contained in the Government Action Lines (LAG) for 2021 announced yesterday.
The Government had already announced its intention to improve legislation related to State security and last month the Judicial Police (PJ) opened a department exclusively dedicated to State security, with powers ranging from collecting information on separatist movements, counterespionage and incitement to revolt.
In the LAGs, it is now indicated that the idea of creating this unit is to “achieve the full functioning of the Security Department and its four subunits, as well as the Terrorism Crimes Alert and Investigation Division and the PJ Cybersecurity Division” in the beginning of 2021.
The PJ Security Department, which comprises four divisions, is already in charge of preventing and investigating crimes against State security, but also other complementary areas that intersect with the State Security Defense Commission already created.
The development of the system that protects the sober and the Chinese state seems to be practically ‘approved’ in Macau: foreign judges have been banned from having in cases related to state security, and legislation and a space dedicated to the promotion of patriotism are underway .
This year, state security legislation was imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing, the scene of major pro-democracy protests in 2019, with the new law leading to arrests and resulting in the removal of deputies from the local parliament.
In the LAG document, the Government of Macau stressed that “the great progress made by the State in the construction of the national security regime, in the year 2020, is the inspiration for all the works” related to this matter by Macau ”.
Some of the Macau Government’s other legislative and operational bets, at least in the last two years, have also focused on strengthening video surveillance and cybersecurity, as well as ensuring the good use and protection of the Chinese flag, emblem and anthem (providing for penalties up to three years in prison for those who publicly and intentionally insult the symbols and representations of the country).
After more than 400 years under Portuguese administration, Macau became a Special Administrative Region of China on December 20, 1999, with a high degree of autonomy agreed over a period of 50 years, except in the areas of diplomacy and defense.
This article is available in: Português