China’s ruling Communist Party as set in motion a controversial national security law for Hong Kong, a move see n by many as a major blow to the city’s freedoms.
The law to ban “treason, secession, sedition and subversion” could bypass elsewhere in China.
Mass protests against what is seen as erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy were called by activists. A group of protesters descended on China’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s government on Friday said it would co-operate with Beijing to enact the law, adding that it would not affect the city’s freedoms. The law has had an effect on financial markets, causing Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (HIS) to drop by over 5% on Friday.
The “draft decision” consists of an introduction and seven articles, with article 4 proving to be the most controversial.
The articles states that Hong Kong “must improve” national security, before adding: “When needed, relevant national security organs of the Central People’s Government will set up agencies in Hong Kong to fulfil relevant duties to safeguard national security in accordance with the law.”