Protesters organize against China security law

Lin Fei-fan at a 2019 protest to support Hong Kong democracy

It could also attract younger immigrants by extending refugee status to people born in Hong Kong after 1997 who also hold a Hong Kong passport. China has sovereignty in Hong Kong, but it's supposed to guarantee those rights.

A separate Chinese body kicked off Thursday after a two-month delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The United States condemns the PRC proposal to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong and strongly urges Beijing to reconsider", he posted on Twitter.

INSKEEP: What's in this legislative proposal?

They said the bill only targets acts of secession, subverting state power and organizing and carrying out terrorist activities, as well as activities interfering with HKSAR's internal affairs by foreign or external forces.

The bill which is set to be approved by the NPC, regarded as the rubber-stamp parliament for its routine approval of proposals by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), comes in the backdrop of relentless agitation by the local Hong Kong people demanding political and administrative autonomy agreed by China when it took possession of the former British colony on July 1, 1997.

"Beijing's growing interference could have a chilling effect on other nations struggling for freedom in China's shadow", he said.

The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions has applauded the national security legislation for the HKSAR, saying it is timely and necessary to plug the loopholes in the legal vacuum in Hong Kong.

"In a situation where the countries that historically would speak up for Hong Kong are on their knees and are dependent on China for PPE, what better timing is there than that?" said Tsang, referring to China's shipments of personal protective equipment around the world.

INSKEEP: OK. So does this mean that Hong Kong essentially doesn't have the partial autonomy that it has had since becoming part of China again in the 1990s? Other top officials, including Wang and President Xi Jinping, did not. But we have this law this year, and it will be a turning point.

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"Efforts must be made at the state level to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for [Hong Kong] to safeguard national security, to change the long-term "defenseless" status in the field of national security", Wang said. Here's Dennis Kwok. He is a prominent pro-democracy lawmaker speaking earlier today at a press conference.

"International NGOs operating in Hong Kong will not be safe".

"The values underlying the criminal justice system in two jurisdictions are so different that any criminal law should only be enacted by HK and not by the Mainland", he says.

FENG: You can hear how emotional he is on the video. He's nearly crying. And he's channeling what many people in Hong Kong feel, which is that Beijing has betrayed the promises it made to Hong Kong in 1997. "If he can demonstrate resolve and ability to move in Hong Kong it shows he has not really lost that much control ... and therefore [his] enemies within the party better watch out".

INSKEEP: Is there any popular support in Hong Kong for Beijing taking a firmer hand there?

He warned that if the legislation is passed in the territory, "Hong Kong police or secret agents can use this to arrest people or prosecute people or even extradite Hong Kongers from Hong Kong to China". This time, Beijing's taking no chances.

U.S. lawmakers are pressing for tough action over Hong Kong, which has become the latest front in soaring tensions between Washington and Beijing, but even some supporters of the territory's democracy movement ask if the "nuclear option" would be effective.

FENG: Absolutely not. It will trigger protests in Hong Kong, but that will likely only push Beijing further to pass the law.

"When they lose control of the legislature, they can still pass laws". Any challenge that Hong Kong can mount to it is going to be overturned by Beijing. What I'm waiting to see is if the going to use the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which is legislation that passed previous year that could revoke special economic privileges Hong Kong has if its freedom and rule of law are gone.

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