World Media

US House passes bill to sanction Chinese banks over Hong Kong

At UN India urges ‘relevant parties’ to address concerns about new security law for Hong Kong

Several people were arrested under the law on Wednesday, with many residents anxious it is the end of Hong Kong's autonomy as they know it.

China's government enacted the law in reaction to anti-government protests in Hong Kong previous year.

Some of those arrested allegedly possessed materials that advocated Hong Kong's independence. Further details were not immediately available.

Police using water cannons and tear gas arrested about 370 people during and after Wednesday's protests, including 10 on suspicion of violating the new security legislation.

China has vowed to punish the United Kingdom for trying to help Hong Kong citizens.

Earlier Wednesday, police cited the law for the first time in confronting illegal protesters.

Chinese state media on Thursday praised the passage of the law, saying it would bring "prosperity and stability".

The protestors believe that the legislation infringes upon Hong Kong's special status under the 'one country, two systems' arrangement with Beijing, and that it was only introduced to crack down on dissidents.

While the city's rich are preparing for a worst-case scenario amid a controversial national-security law, major mainland billionaires are coming in. Under the law, offenders may be given a life sentence as the maximum punishment. Lesser offenders could receive jail terms of up to three years, short-term detention or restriction.

"Hong Kong has been on the backburner in an effort to sell soybeans and we haven't even sold the soybeans", Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat, told the congressional hearing.

"Chinese billionaires' tech companies are helping the capital market in Hong Kong for a pivotal change and secure its Asia financial hub status", said Edward Au, managing director of the southern region at Deloitte China.

Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying posted on Facebook on Wednesday that a bounty of HK$500,000 (£51,655.70) would be offered to anyone helping catch the fugitive and that confidentiality would be ensured.

'That had in it provisions for autonomy and democracy for Hong Kong, and democratic principles are important'. About a dozen participants chanted slogans echoing demands from protesters previous year for political reform and an investigation into accusations of police abuse. But it also opens the door wide for not only Hong Kong citizens, but anyone, to be apprehended by Chinese state-security agents, sent to the mainland, tried in courts controlled by the Communist Party, and punished under China's criminal code.

The law takes aim at actions that occurred during anti-government protests past year.

In vague language, the legislation criminalises secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers.

"In addition to the total absence of meaningful consultation, lawyers, judges, police and Hong Kong residents were given no opportunity to familiarise themselves with the contents of the new law, including the serious criminal offences it creates, before it came into force", the analysis added.

Meanwhile, dozens of pro-Beijing activists and lawmakers protested outside the US Consulate in Hong Kong to demand that the US stop meddling.

Countries also expressed concern on the potential aftereffects of the law for their own citizens.

Protests erupted in Hong Kong on Wednesday as China made its first arrest under the new national security law.

The committee reiterated China's firm stance to safeguard the nation's sovereignty, security and development interests, and implement the principle of "One Country, Two Systems", opposing any external interference in Hong Kong affairs. "Hong Kong is a free and diversified society", she said on Tuesday.

China bypassed Hong Kong's Legislative Council to pass the sweeping legislation without public consultation.

Britain announced Wednesday that it was extending residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for the British National Overseas passport, stressing that it would uphold its historic duty to the former British colony.

He said Wednesday that the trust in China's ability to live up to its global responsibilities took "a big step backwards".

He founded the Apple Daily tabloid in 1995, ahead of Britain's handover of Hong Kong to China.

"I'll never forget the sparkling scene of Hong Kong from the plane", he said.