China's parliament okays controversial Hong Kong security bill

Updated: May 29, 2020, 12:05 IST | Agencies | Beijing

China's annual political season, delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic ended on Thursday with its parliament, much on the expected lines endorsed the new security law for Hong Kong

Several have been arrested during protests against the bill. PIC/AFP
Several have been arrested during protests against the bill. PIC/AFP

China's parliament on Thursday approved a new controversial security law for Hong Kong, a move that critics say threatens the fundamental political freedoms and civil liberties in the semi-autonomous territory. China's annual political season, delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic ended on Thursday with its parliament, much on the expected lines endorsed the new security law for Hong Kong.

The country's rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), nearly unanimously approved the resolution to introduce the sweeping security legislation, which bans secession, subversion of state power, terrorism, foreign intervention and allows mainland China's state security agencies to operate in the gleaming city. Only one delegate voted against the proposal, while 2,878 voted for and six abstained, the official media reported.

It will then be implemented upon promulgation by the Hong Kong government. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang defended the new law, saying that it was designed to implement the one country two systems formula and its stability prosperity. China's move has already sparked a new wave of anti-mainland protest in Hong Kong. Clashes broke out again on Wednesday, as Hong Kong's parliament debated a different proposed law, which would make it a crime to disrespect the Chinese national anthem.

The new security law has been denounced by the US, the UK and the EU as a blow to freedom and affect the city's status as an international business hub.

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