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Hong Kong security law must be imposed 'without slightest delay': Chinese FM

Hong Kong security law must be imposed 'without slightest delay': Chinese FM

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi wearing a face mask following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak attends the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING: A controversial security law for Hong Kong proposed by China during its national legislative session should be imposed "without the slightest delay", China's foreign minister said on Sunday (May 24).

The proposal is expected to ban treason, subversion and sedition, and comes after Hong Kong was shaken by months of massive and sometimes violent protests.

Wang Yi told a press conference that the law was "imperative" after protests in Hong Kong last year "seriously endangered China's national security".

READ: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says national security law will not hamper judicial independence

READ: Hong Kong police fire tear gas on protesters opposing China security proposal

The draft measure would authorise Chinese lawmakers to directly enact controversial security legislation long called for under Hong Kong's mini-constitution but which authorities in the city have been unable to push through due to local public opposition.

"It is imperative that the Hong Kong national security legal system and enforcement mechanism must be established without the slightest delay," Wang said.

He told reporters covering the week-long legislative session that "violent and terrorist activities are continuing to escalate, (and) foreign forces have deeply and illegally interfered in Hong Kong affairs."

READ: Hong Kong's controversial security law: What is it and why does China want it?

READ: Hong Kongers fret over Beijing's planned new security laws

Hong Kong's unpopular pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam said in a statement on Friday that the new proposal was necessary to protect national security and punish "violent political elements".

Police fired tear gas in Hong Kong on Sunday after hundreds of pro-democracy campaigners defied warnings not to gather for their first rally since China introduced the legislative proposal.

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

Follow us on Telegram for the latest on Hong Kong: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source: AFP/aj

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