China will propose national security laws for Hong Kong in response to last year’s often violent pro-democracy protests that plunged the city into its deepest turmoil since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997, state news agency Xinhua said.
The report confirmed what three people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Xinhua said a preparatory meeting for a Chinese parliament session adopted an agenda that included an item to review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security”.
The South China Morning Post newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said the laws would ban secession, foreign interference, terrorism and all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government and any external interference in the former British colony.
The legislation, which could be introduced as a motion to China’s parliament, could be a turning point for its freest and most international city, potentially triggering a revision of its special status in Washington and likely to spark more unrest.