Hong Kong police fire tear gas as thousands protest security law
Hong Kong police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands who, in defiance of curbs imposed to contain the coronavirus, gathered on Sunday to protest against Beijing’s plan to directly impose national security laws on the city, Trend reports citing Reuters.
In a return of the unrest that roiled the financial hub last year, crowds thronged the bustling shopping area of Causeway Bay, where chants of “Hong Kong independence, the only way out,” and other slogans echoed through the streets.
To Communist Party leaders, calls for independence for the Chinese-ruled city are anathema, and the proposed new national security framework stresses Beijing’s intent “to prevent, stop and punish” such acts.
The protest, the first since Beijing proposed the new laws on Thursday, had mostly died down by then - but the day’s events pose a fresh challenge to Beijing’s authority as it struggles to tame public opposition to its tightening grip over the city.
The security laws have also sent a chill through financial markets and drawn a rebuke from foreign governments, human rights groups and some business lobbies.