China's parliament approved a decision on Thursday to go forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong that democracy activists in the city and Western countries fear could endanger its special autonomy and freedoms. Libby Hogan reports.
China's parliament approved a decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong in a landslide vote on Thursday (May 28).
The bill tackles subversion, separatism, terrorism, foreign interference and could see Chinese intelligence agencies set up in Hong Kong.
The vote now moves to the standing committee to draft the legislation.
The legislation which was unveiled only last week - triggered the first big protests in Hong Kong for months.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the legislation would benefit the territory's long-term stability and prosperity.
It comes after a tense day in Hong Kong, as scuffles broke out -- rotten plants were thrown -- and heckles erupted between councilors inside Hong Kong's Legislative Council as they also sat on Thursday (May 28) to debate another piece of legislation: a bill that would criminalize disrespect of China's national anthem.
Protesters see the bill as a move by Beijing that delivers a severe blow to the city's freedoms. Pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu, was taken out of the chamber holding a placard mocking the pro-establishment lawmaker Starry Lee.
Also on Thursday, Activist Joshua Wong called for sanctions after U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Hong Kong is quote "no longer autonomous from China".
"Sanction is not exist name in only, partial sanctions, embargoes or even freeze the separate economic entity in Hong Kong would also be the way for some of the weapons or equipment for the world to let Beijing to know that it's a must to completely withdraw and stop the implementation of national security law." The national security law is expected to be enacted before September.
Around the world the U.S., Britain and the European Union have expressed concerns for the former British colony and one of the world's financial hubs.