China privately urged top Hong Kong officials to back national security law

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Jun 11, 2020, 07:30 AM(IST)

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Chinese President Xi Jinping Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The revelation came as the National People’s Congress Standing Committee scheduled a three-day meeting from next Thursday, implying the legislation could be hammered out, or even passed, by the end of next week.

Beijing’s liaison office held ''unprecedented'' round of meetings with senior Hong Kong officials to boost support for national security law.

According to sources, the mainland government arm asked ministers and undersecretaries to support the proposed legislation in a series of discussions over past three weeks.

''[They] mainly asked us to openly show support for the law in departments’ capacity,'' said an official, who attended one of the sessions and wished to remain anonymous. ''They also explained Beijing’s rationale behind imposing such laws and clarified some implementation issues.''

Also read: China has no legal authority to enact security law for Hong Kong: Bar Association

The mainland agency’s effort to garner support was on a scale ''not seen in other issues in recent years'', according to another veteran government official.

The revelation came as the National People’s Congress Standing Committee scheduled a three-day meeting from next Thursday, implying the legislation could be hammered out, or even passed, by the end of next week.

The bill, which would outlaw activities of succession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong, was not on the official agenda, but Tam Yiu-chung, the city’s sole representative to the apex body of the national legislature, said the item “could be added in the last minute”.

Many of the 36 Hong Kong deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC) would like to sit in the meeting, he added.

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