Hong Kong has tabled plans to draw up its own national security laws, nearly two years after Beijing imposed the controversial set of laws on the city in the wake of mass protests.
The city’s leader Carrie Lam confirmed that her government would draft “local legislation” that meets Article 23 of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – which calls for the city to pass its own laws in the name of national security.
While Lam did not elaborate one what new offences might be brought in, Article 23 lists treason, secession, sedition, subversion and theft of state secrets.
The law also stops any foreign political organisations, or political opponents, from conducting activity in the China-ruled city.
The latter law prompted a record low voter turnout in Hong Kong’s latest election, which saw foreign ministers express “grave concern” over the city’s democracy.
In a joint statement, foreign minister Liz Truss, alongside her Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and US counterpart, added that Hong Kong’s electoral system overhaul has “eliminated any meaningful political opposition”.
Lam told reporters at the time that she was “satisfied” with the result – despite just a little over a third of the city’s population voting.
“For registered voters, deciding whether they want to exercise their voting rights in a particular election is entirely a matter for themselves,” she added.