China crackdown: Hong Kong Police arrest 53 protestors amid fury over security bill

Officers reportedly gave protestors multiple warnings to disperse at an unsanctioned demonstration. Pepper spray was used when demonstrators allegedly became aggressive, according to a press statement.

The Hong Kong Force said: “At around 5pm [9am GMT] today, Police intercepted some protestors near Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mongkok and arrested 53 persons, including 41 males and 12 females, for Unlawful Assembly.

“Police are conducting enforcement actions in the vicinity to restore public order at the moment.”

Demonstrations have continued to take place in Hong Kong in protest of new security legislation that passed in late May by the National People’s Congress in Beijing.

Chinese authorities unveiled the details of the proposed security bill on 20 June.

The bill threatens to give jail terms and heavy fines for any secessionist activity or attempts to undermine the state’s authority.

The new legislation also shows that the Chinese government intends to establish a national security agency in Hong Kong.

This will reportedly make policy recommendations to the security in the region.

Beijing has continually said that the public unrest in Hong Kong is a result of foreign interference in China’s domestic affairs.

READ MORE: US punishes China for Hong Kong security law with new power

Under the “one country, two systems” agreement, Hong Kong was expected to enact its own national security law.

This was set out in Article 23 of the Basic Law or “two systems” principle.

However, its unpopularity meant that it was never done.

In 2003 the government tried to enact a national security law but backed down due to protests.

The new national security office in Hong Kong would have some other powers including overseeing education about national security in Hong Kong schools.

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam has backed the proposed law and denied allegations that the region’s “one country, two systems” will be affected.

Although some details have emerged, the draft law has not been made public.

Ms Lam reportedly said she had not seen the full text earlier in June.

The national security office in Hong Kong could send cases to be tried in mainland China.

But Beijing said it will only obtain that power for a “tiny number” of cases “under specific circumstances”.