China's top lawmakers to discuss Hong Kong security law this week


Beijing (AFP)

China's top lawmaking body will discuss a draft Hong Kong national security law this week, state media reported Thursday, bringing the controversial legislation that has raised international concerns closer to passage.

The draft was submitted on Thursday to the Standing Committee of National People's Congress, which meets until Saturday, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

China's rubber-stamp parliament endorsed the planned legislation last month as the Communist Party seeks to put an end to a pro-democracy movement that has rocked the semi-autonomous city since last tear.

Xinhua said the draft law "clearly outlines" the four acts prohibited by the controversial law -- secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign and external forces to endanger national security -- as well as their criminal penalties.

The wording of the draft appears to have become stronger than the proposal revealed at last month's parliamentary meetings, criminalising "collusion with foreign and external forces" instead of "foreign and external interference in Hong Kong affairs".

The law has drawn widespread rebuke from various sectors of Hong Kong society, human rights advocates and foreign countries, as well as the G7, for eroding the city's remaining freedoms and autonomy.