Hong Kong's pro-Beijing politicians sought to allay worries about the impact of China's proposed national security legislation on the Asian financial hub's business environment, saying it would boost investor sentiment.
The law, when it is passed, will proscribe secessionist and subversive activities, external interference in Hong Kong and terrorism.
These were the details of the news China could set-up Hong Kong intelligence agency under security law, says former leader for this day.
Hong Kong was plunged into its biggest political crisis since the former British colony's return to Chinese rule in 1997, with a wave of protests against a now withdrawn extradition bill which would see people sent to mainland China for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts.
Hong Kong had always been compelled to pass its own localized legislation prohibiting subversive or treasonous acts, according to the Basic Law which serves as its quasi-Constitution, but it has not done so. The conflict was clear to anyone following this gambit: Either China had to become more like Hong Kong, or Hong Kong had to become more like China.
"I think the Western world should drop their prejudices when it comes to Hong Kong being part of the mainland of China". Turning a blind eye to the well-being of the Hong Kong citizens, he instigated the youth to continue acting as willing pawns of the rioters for the latter's political gains, and incited confrontation against the Hong Kong police who are committed to protecting people's life and property safety.
Hong Kong was rocked by unprecedented, pro-democracy protests a year ago which began over the proposed extradition law, which sparked fears that locals would be prosecuted in the Chinese mainland.
NordVPN, Surfshark and ProtonVPN are just a few of the VPN providers whose apps are quickly moving up the charts in the top free apps section in the Google Play Store in Hong Kong. However, with other cities in China like Shanghai and Shenzhen witnessing meteoric growth over the last decade-and-a-half, the importance of Hong Kong in China's economic calculations has reduced.
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During the proposal at the Hong Kong Legislative Council on Friday, a protest kicked off involving many pro-democracy lawmakers.
Pro-democracy activists fear the law will be used to muzzle protests in defiance of the freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law, as similar laws in China are used to silence opposition to the Communist Party.
"The values underlying the criminal justice system in two jurisdictions are so different that any criminal law should only be enacted by HK and not by the Mainland", he says.
China's parliament said Friday that Beijing, which has accused Hong Kong protesters of promoting separatism, must "take powerful measures to lawfully prevent, stop and punish" anti-China forces in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the U.S. state department said that "any effort to impose national security legislation that does not reflect the will of the people of Hong Kong would be highly destabilising, and would be met with strong condemnation".
The decision to directly insert the national security legislation into Annex III of the Basic Law raises serious concerns about human rights protections.
The draft resolution also suggests that the Hong Kong government still needs to enact its own national security law under Article 23 in a separate piece of law. "Being persistent is the Hong Kong spirit".
Months of anti-government protests previous year plunged Hong Kong into its biggest political crisis in decades and posed the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping.