May 22, 2020 08:08
China's parliament will propose legislation to protect security in Hong Kong in response to pro-democracy protests in the territory last year that often turned violent.
National People's Congress spokesman Zhang Yesui announced the plan Thursday as an annual high-level political conference in China that was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic for two months got underway Thursday in Beijing.
Zhang said the ceremonial parliament will consider a measure aimed at "establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security."
Zhang's announcement seemed to confirm speculation that Beijing would bypass Hong Kong's own legislature in approving legislation to prevent activity in the territory.
Security laws for Hong Kong have long been considered but Beijing accelerated efforts to enact them after months of anti-government protests in the former British colony that was handed over to China in 1997.
The legislation could lead to a change in its special status in the U.S. and likely to trigger more unrest.
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