18:11 GMT15 August 2020
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - The Standing Committee of the Chinese parliament is expected to vote on the final version of the proposed Hong Kong security bill, which sparked criticism from a number of countries and triggered massive protests in the autonomous city, in the coming weeks, the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday, citing sources.

    Earlier on Saturday, a three-day meeting of the National People's Congress Standing Committee ended without releasing a full draft of the national security law. According to the sources, the release was delayed, because further changes to the document are expected to be made in the coming days.

    Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong's only delegate to China’s top legislative body who attended the meeting, told the media that the Chinese government would make an announcement on the matter on Saturday afternoon, adding that there was no date set for the next meeting yet.

    The sources said that the legislation is expected to keep the Hong Kong authorities' power to handle most of the law enforcement functions and judicial proceedings on their own while allowing the central government to intervene in certain emergency conditions.

    Riot police officers detain an anti-government demonstrator during a protest at Central District against the second reading of a controversial national anthem law in Hong Kong, China May 27, 2020. REUTERS
    © REUTERS / Tyrone Siu
    Riot police officers detain an anti-government demonstrator during a protest at Central District against the second reading of a controversial national anthem law in Hong Kong, China May 27, 2020. REUTERS

    Wide-scale protests have been taking place sporadically in Hong Kong since June 2019, with protesters claiming to oppose Beijing’s increasing influence on the special administrative region. The latest wave of protests was caused by the security bill specially tailored for Hong Kong.

    The legislation, which bans secessionist activities, among other things, is seen by Hong Kong residents as undermining their liberties. However, both Hong Kong's leadership and the central government say the legislation would not affect the legitimate rights of the residents. Beijing maintains that the unrest in Hong Kong is a result of international interference and vows to respect the "one country, two systems" principle.

    Tags:
    protests, security bil, Hong Kong, China
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