Pro-democracy protesters clash with Hong Kong police over Beijing’s planned security law

Updated May 24, 2020 6:36 PM EDT

Tokyo — Protesters clashed with police over Beijing’s plan to impose a tough new security law. There’s fear it would crush freedoms in the former British territory.

Hong Kong police launched tear gas at angry pro-democracy protesters on Sunday and fired a water cannon to disperse the crowds.

Many held umbrellas to protect themselves as most chanted anti-government and anti-China slogans.

Opposition to Beijing’s new national security legislation erupted in Hong Kong’s legislature, soon after the news first broke.

At a press conference, Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing and unpopular chief executive Carrie Lam said the new law would “improve the legal system and safeguard national security” in the former British colony.

The mass protests — both peaceful and violent — that rocked the city for much of 2019 are what Beijing intends to stop — by banning acts of treason, secession and subversion.

For many, the new laws symbolize the death knell of the “one country, two systems” principle — Beijing’s promise to Great Britain to leave Hong Kong semi-autonomous until 2047. 

“Technically there is nothing we can do to challenge it — it’s Mother’s Order,” Claudia Mo, a Hong Kong legislator and pro-democracy leader, told CBS News.

Washington is now condemning Beijing’s plan as a crack down on Hong Kong — but Beijing is ignoring those demands, saying some in America are pushing U.S.-China relations to a “new Cold War.”

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