Hong Kong police raise a warning flag at the city's Central District May 27, 2020. — Reuters pic

China public security ministry pledges to 'guide and support' HK police

SHANGHAI, May 29 — China's public security ministry pledged to “guide and support” the Hong Kong police force after China's parliament approved a decision to impose a new national security law on the semi-autonomous territory.

China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said it would use “all efforts to guide and support the Hong Kong police to stop violence and restore order,” according to a statement released late yesterday.

Hong Kong's police force is independent from China and the MPS has no enforcement powers in the former British colony.

China says the national security law will aim to tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong, with details expected to be drawn up in the coming weeks.

The legislation has sparked fresh protests in Hong Kong, with democracy activists fearing it could erode the city's freedoms and jeopardise its role as a global financial hub.

The new legislation is also expected to enable Beijing to establish intelligence agencies in Hong Kong, including a domestic intelligence agency potentially involving the MPS and the Ministry of State Security, China's main intelligence agency. — Reuters