Background: China plans to impose national security legislation on the semi-autonomous city, which creates fear that its freedoms and international standing as a global finance hub will be eroded.
A previous attempt to adopt similar legislation in 2003 was met with a protest that drew around half a million people onto the streets and was eventually shelved.
The legislation: Speaking on Friday in his annual report to the Chinese parliament, Premier Li Keqiang said China would review a proposal titled: “Establishment and Improvement of the Legal System and Implementation Mechanism for the Safeguarding of National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”
The document said the laws will tackle secession, subversion and terrorism activities, as well as foreign interference. It says it will safeguard the central government’s “overall jurisdiction” as well as Hong Kong’s “high autonomy”.
“When needed, relevant national security organs of the Central People’s Government will set up agencies,” in Hong Kong to safeguard national security
The Reaction: Even before the legislation is passed, the discussion of the law has already hit the financial markets. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 3.7 per cent to a seven-week low.
This new law could potentially reignite the massive demonstrations of 2019. Calls by the protesters group to take action on the streets have surfaced again.