The Chinese authorities have unveiled details of the new national security law for Hong Kong paving the way for significant change to the city’s legislation since it returned under Chinese rule in 1997.
The new piece of legislation, which has provoked some concerns in both Washington and Europe, includes the establishment of a national security office for Hong Kong to collect intelligence data and help local authorities to handle serious crimes against national security, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The draft law is aimed at tackling separatist activity, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces in the city.
It is reported that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam could also have the power to appoint specific judges to focus on national security cases.
The exact time frame for enacting the law was unclear. Political analysts expect it will take effect ahead of key Legislative Council elections in Hong Kong on September 6.
Beijing proposed the new legislation last month, drawing a swift rebuke from the US and some European countries.
Underscoring growing concerns over the move, the European Parliament on Friday voted in favour of taking China to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague if Beijing imposes the security law on Hong Kong.
These action are perceived by China has as foreign governments interference in its internal affairs.