Hong Kong on edge before National Anthem Bill: Live updates

Riot police surrounded Hong Kong’s legislature on Wednesday morning as protesters threatened to take to the streets before the second reading of the controversial National Anthem Bill.

The bill would make it a criminal offence to “disrespect” the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China. It would also require that the anthem be taught in schools and sung by organisations. 

The semi-autonomous Chinese territory is also on edge over China’s plans to impose “national security” legislation.

The Legislative Council, known as Legco, is due to start its session at 11am (03:00 GMT). Police have also taken to walkways around the area and are checking passers-by.

02:45 GMT – Legco session due to start at 11am (03G) with questions

The Legco session is due to get underway shortly and will start with various adminstration officials responding to legislators’ questions.

Given the current tensions in Hong Kong, a couple of the six questions slated for oral reply stand out. Question two is for the Secretary for Security and relates to “preventing the emergency of homegrown terrorism”.  Question six relates to Article 23 of the Basic Law, which covers national security.

02:00 GMT – Five youngsters arrested with petrol bombs, helmets, gas masks

AFP is reporting that the police have arrested five under-18s in three different areas around the city. One group had molotov cocktails, another a screwdriver and the others helmets and gas masks. The youngest is just 14.

00:30 GMT – Trump warns US to have “strong response” to China security legislation

US President Donald Trump says the US will announce its response to China’s plan to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong by the end of this week.

When asked whether the response would include sanctions, Trump responded: “No, it’s something you’re going to be hearing about … before the end of the week, very powerfully, I think.”

You can read more on Trump’s comments and US reaction to China’s recent moves in Hong Kong here.

00:00 GMT – Hundreds of riot police surround Legco

Hundreds of riot police have been deployed around the Legco building, which has been sealed off behind a wall of blue and white water-filled plastic barriers, according to Reuters.

Hong Kong barricades

Article source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/hong-kong-edge-national-anthem-bill-live-updates-200527004210158.html