▶️Scuffles broke out in the Hong Kong Legislative Council Friday, May 22, as opposition legislators protested against the move, with two legislators forcibly dragged out of the chamber.
Pro-Beijing Hong Kong legislator Starry Lee had to be escorted out of the chamber as she was surrounded by chanting demonstrators.
👉China’s plan to impose a national security law on Hong Kong to prevent and punish acts of “secession, subversion or terrorism activities” that threaten national security has drawn fire from critics and ordinary Hong Kongers alike, with many lamenting this as the end of the free and open city the world has known.
The plan also would allow Chinese national security organs to set up agencies in Hong Kong “when needed.”
China has long indicated its intention to bring Hong Kong under tighter control -- it warned in a 2014 policy white paper that it has “comprehensive jurisdiction” or “comprehensive power to rule” over Hong Kong.
The millions-strong, often violent protests last year sparked by a controversial extradition law shocked the Chinese leadership. In recent months, Chinese officials have unequivocally ordered the city to enact legislation to bar subversion, separatism, and foreign interference to plug the national security “loopholes” that threaten the country’s stability. In the communique of a key Communist party meeting in November, the Fourth Plenum, Beijing told the city to “perfect” its legal system to safeguard national security.
Critics say Beijing’s efforts to incorporate Hong Kong into its national security system through bypassing the city’s parliament amount to a breach of its promise of the “one country two systems” policy enshrined in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration that is meant to guarantee Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy.