China proposes law to tighten its grip on Hong Kong

"In light of the new circumstances and need, the National People's Congress (NPC) is exercising its constitutional power" to establish a new legal framework and enforcement mechanism to safeguard national security in Hong Kong, Zhang Yesui, the spokesman for the legislature, said.

More details to follow.

"They can take away the rules of procedures today but I am sure the Hong Kong people won't forget today", said Democratic representative Dennis Kwok.

Such legislation was last proposed in 2003 under Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution, bringing hundreds of thousands of the territory's citizens out in protest.

Those mass protests, which lasted over six months and grew increasingly violent and disruptive before the coronavirus pandemic drew them to a partial halt, were a major challenge to Beijing's control over the city.

"Hong Kong is marching towards the beginning of the end of "one country, two systems"," said pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo Nan-ching after the meeting ended.

China's foreign ministry also made the landmark announcement that these journalists would not be allowed to work in Hong Kong, even though the financial hub is nominally in charge of its own immigration policies.

This story is breaking. Hong Kong has ramped up testing for the novel virus since a new outbreak of cluster infections raised concerns about the risk of transmission by asymptomatic individuals, reported AP.

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"What is on trial here is the human rights of Hong Kong". This was despite the fact that anger against the Hong Kong government's "Patriotic Education" was what led to the rise of student groups that played key roles in the Umbrella Movement in such as Scholarism, which later became Demosisto.

In the past few weeks, Hong Kong police arrested over 200 pro-democracy demonstrators, while brawls between pro-Beijing and pro-democracy lawmakers have broken out in the legislature amid deepening fears that the regime is tightening control over the city.

Online posts have already emerged urging people to gather to protest on Thursday night and dozens were seen shouting pro-democracy slogans in a shopping mall as riot police stood nearby.

China's Global Times newspaper on Saturday quoted a source close to the Chinese government as saying that Beijing was ready to take a series of countermeasures, such as putting USA companies on an "unreliable entity list" and imposing restrictions on U.S. companies.

National anthem Lee's election is likely to accelerate the adoption of a controversial bill that would criminalise abuse of the Chinese national anthem. "This is the end of Hong Kong".

Tensions between China and the U.S. have soared in recent weeks, with Mr Pompeo and Donald Trump attacking Beijing's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, in which the United States has been hardest hit.

The attempted passage of an extradition law a year ago resulted in massive protests that split the city. Referring to the law, she said "any erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy will result in decisive action".

Members of the Consultative Conference will "tell the world about how China, as a responsible major country, has taken firm action and contributed to global cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic", Wang Yang, the chairman of the body, said in a report to the opening session.

  • Sonia Alvarado