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Police fire tear gas as hundreds take to Hong Kong streets to protest China security proposals

Protesters chanted slogans such as ‘Stand with Hong Kong’ as they gathered in a popular shopping district.

featureimage Riot police cover themselves with shields as hundreds of protesters march along a street in Hong Kong Source: Vincent Yu via PA Images

HONG KONG POLICE have fired volleys of tear gas in a popular shopping district as hundreds took to the streets to march against China’s proposed tough national security legislation for the city.

Pro-democracy supporters in Hong Kong have sharply criticised China’s proposal to enact a national security law that would ban secessionist and subversive activity, as well as foreign interference and terrorism in the semi-autonomous territory.

Critics say it goes against the “one country, two systems” framework that promises the city freedoms not found on the mainland.

Today, crowds of protesters dressed in black gathered in Causeway Bay, a popular shopping district, to protest against the proposed legislation.

Protesters chanted slogans “Stand with Hong Kong”, “Liberate Hong Kong” and “Revolution of our times”.

embedded253857844 Hong Kong riot police fire tear gas as hundreds of protesters march along a street during a pro-democracy protest against Beijing’s national security legislation Source: Vincent Yu via PA Images

Prominent activitist Tam Tak-chi was arrested during the protests for what police said was an unauthorised assembly.

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Mr Tam said he was giving a “health talk” and was exempt from social-distancing measures that prohibit gatherings of more than eight people.

The protests come two days after the proposed bill was submitted on Friday, the opening day of China’s national legislative session.

Today’s rallies are a continuation of a months-long pro-democracy movement that began last year and has at times descended into violence between police and protesters.

The new law, expected to be passed on 28 May, would bypass the city’s legislature and allow the Hong Kong government to set up mainland agencies in the city, sparking fears that this would allow Chinese agents to arbitrarily arrest people for activities deemed to be pro-democracy.

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