China released a sweeping blueprint on Saturday to tighten its control over Hong Kong, revealing plans to establish a security agency in the territory to help Beijing extinguish challenges to its power after months of unrest. The planned national security law for Hong Kong also gives the territory's chief official, who must answer to Beijing, the power to appoint which judges will hear such security cases, eroding the autonomy of the city's independent judiciary. The announcement drew immediate protests from opposition leaders who warned that it would imperil the rule of law in Hong Kong, a global financial center with greater freedoms than in mainland China. The proposed law is a pillar of President Xi Jinping's push to subdue political strife in Hong Kong, the sole part of China that has loudly defied his drive to entrench authoritarian control. Opposition from the United States, Britain and other Western countries appears unlikely to derail that effort. The details released by the official Xinhua News Agency on Saturday suggested that the law would greatly magnify the Chinese government's ability to extinguish political opposition in Hong Kong, which sustained monthslong street protests there last year that often flared into clashes with the police…. Read full this story
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