RIOT police clashed with crowds of protesters, detaining several, during an unauthorised demonstration against new Chinese national security laws in Hong Kong yesterday, on the anniversary of the former British territory’s handover to China from the United Kingdom.
‘Free Hong Kong Protesters’ were seen being held down by police on the streets of the city with Police taking a less violent force following protests last year.
Hong Kong police made many arrests under the newly-passed national security law to stop mass civil disobedience.
Police used water cannons against protesters and detained dozens of protesters.
Protesters were seen running from police who were charging at them and detained several of them.
The law, that was passed on Tuesday afternoon will see the opening of an office in charge of criminal cases related to national security in Hong Kong, to target subversion, secession, terrorism and activities of foreign or external forces to interfere with the HKSAR’s affairs.
The handover of Hong Kong occurred on July 1, 1997, when the United Kingdom ended administration for the colony of Hong Kong and returned control of the territory to China.
Beijing warned what it describes as ‘foreign actors’ from interfering in the new security laws in Hong Kong saying it upholds the constitutional order and ensures longer-term prosperity and stability in the territory.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian defended the new laws.
Lijian also slammed what he described as attempts at foreign interference in Chinese internal affairs under the pretext of concerns over human rights. “This law will provide an institutional guarantee for comprehensively and accurately implementing the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, effectively upholding the constitutional order in HKSAR as prescribed by the constitution and basic law and ensuring Hong Kong’s longer-term prosperity and stability,” said Zhao Lijian.
“The issue concerning the national security law is not a human rights issue at all and it should not be politicised. A few external forces using the excuse of human rights are interfering in China’s internal affairs,” he added.
Last week, Washington said it would start treating four Chinese media outlets in the US as ‘foreign missions,’ obligating them to comply with similar demands to those made by Beijing on Tuesday.
Additional Reporting courtesy of our Partners at Ruptly