Beijing, May 22
China on Friday introduced the draft of a controversial national security law in Hong Kong in its parliament to tighten Beijing’s control over the former British colony, in what could be the biggest blow to the territory’s autonomy and personal freedoms since 1997 when it came under the Chinese rule.
Pro-democracy protests to continue
I don’t expect pro-democracy protests that have been taking place since June last year to end, even as the China announced plans to introduce national security legislation. — Carrie Lam, Hong Kong Chief Executive
The draft Bill on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security was submitted to the National People’s Congress which began its week-long session here.
The new law would proscribe secessionist and subversive activity as well as foreign interference and terrorism in the city — all developments that had been troubling Beijing for some time, but most pressingly over the past year of increasingly violent anti-government protests.
Pro-democracy activists had said they feared “the end of Hong Kong” if China brought the new security law. The Bill comes in the backdrop of agitation by the local people demanding autonomy agreed by China when it took possession in 1997. —PTI
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