China passes controversial Hong Kong safety legislation

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Protester throwing a tear gas can back at the policeImage copyright AFP
Image caption Hong Kong’s pro-democracy motion lead waves of protests final yr

China has handed a controversial safety legislation giving it new powers over Hong Kong, deepening fears for town’s freedoms, the BBC has discovered.

Last month China introduced it will impose the legislation, which criminalises any act of secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with overseas forces.

The move comes after offended protests final yr – sparked by one other legislation – which grew to become a pro-democracy motion.

Critics say the brand new legislation poses a good larger risk to Hong Kong’s identification.

They warn it is going to undermine Hong Kong’s judicial independence and destroy town’s freedoms, which aren’t obtainable in mainland China.

Hong Kong was handed again to China from British management in 1997, however with a novel settlement which assured sure freedoms.

The invoice has sparked demonstrations in Hong Kong and drawn worldwide condemnation because it was introduced by Beijing in May.

But China says the legislation is required to sort out separatist exercise, subversion, terrorism and collusion with overseas components – and rejects criticism as interference in its affairs.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Critics warn the legislation will shut down dissent

The safety legislation was fast-tracked to come back into impact earlier than Wednesday, which marks the anniversary of the handover from Britain to China and is normally marked by large-scale political protests.

It was handed unanimously on Tuesday morning by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in Beijing and is predicted to be added to Hong Kong’s Basic Law later within the day.

One of town’s most distinguished activists, Joshua Wong, reacted by saying he would stop the pro-democracy group Demosisto he spearheaded till now.

Fellow activists Nathan Law and Agnes Chow additionally stated they’d stop the group.

What is the brand new legislation?

China has not formally confirmed the legislation has been handed, and the textual content of the invoice has additionally not been made public, however some particulars have emerged.

It would make felony any act of secession, subversion of the central authorities, terrorism and collusion with overseas or exterior forces.

A brand new nationwide safety workplace in Hong Kong would take care of nationwide safety circumstances, however would additionally produce other powers resembling overseeing training about nationwide safety in Hong Kong faculties.

The Hong Kong authorities might be required to hold out most enforcement below the brand new legislation, however Beijing will be capable to overrule the Hong Kong authorities in some circumstances.