China’s planned national security law for Hong Kong could allow for extraditions to the mainland, the city’s sole representative to Beijing’s top lawmaking body said on Wednesday.
The comments by Tam Yiu-chung, a veteran pro-Beijing politician, are significant because it was the threat of extradition to China’s party-controlled courts that ignited last year’s pro-democracy protests.
The city has been convulsed by a year of huge and often violent rallies that began with an eventually aborted criminal extradition Bill but morphed into a popular call for democracy and police accountability.
Beijing says the new national security law is needed to end the political unrest and restore stability.
But critics see it as potential knock-out blow for Hong Kong’s cherished freedoms and autonomy.
In an interview, Mr. Tam said he believed some prosecutions alleging foreign interference, or cases involving diplomatic issues, could be handled by China’s central government.
The Standing Committee, the party organ that will draw up the new law, is sitting on Thursday and Friday.