Hong Kong protests: police use water cannon and arrest more than 180 on first day of controversial security law | World news

Beijing has imposed a raft of national security rules on Hong Kong, ushering in a new chapter of Chinese control over the semi-autonomous territory once known as a haven of political freedom and civil liberty.

Chinese and Hong Kong officials have said the law would target only a “narrow set” of behaviours, but the full text of the legislation – released only after it was enacted late on Tuesday – shows it covers a broad range of activities under vaguely defined crimes related to security. The harshest penalties are life in prison.

Legal experts say the most worrying aspect of the legislation is that it brings Chinese law and national security agencies to Hong Kong, eliminating the firewall separating it from mainland China under the “one country two systems” framework. Others say it aims to fundamentally change Hong Kong society with requirements for “national security education” in schools, the media, and the internet.

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