China official lauds Macau security law in hint to Hong Kong

AP News
Posted: May 09, 2017 5:14 AM
China official lauds Macau security law in hint to Hong Kong

HONG KONG (AP) — China's No. 3 official lauded Macau's anti-subversion legislation during a visit to the city Tuesday in a message that appeared aimed at nearby Hong Kong. Similar legislation proposed there has stalled because of opposition from pro-democracy supporters.

Zhang Dejiang made the comments to local officials and business leaders in the former Portuguese colony, which has been a special Chinese administrative region since 1999.

Zhang said he was pleased with Macau's efforts in making national security a priority after Beijing took control under a system known as "one country, two systems."

Macau's government enacted its anti-subversion legislation in 2009.

Pro-democracy activists and lawmakers have objected to Hong Kong's version of the legislation because of fears Beijing would use it to suppress dissent.

Hong Kong's government shelved plans for it in 2003 after half a million people took to the streets in protest. Some candidates in the race earlier this year to become Hong Kong's next leader floated the idea of reviving it.

Hong Kong was promised much leeway to run its own affairs after China took control from Britain in 1997 but many residents fear Beijing is tightening its grip.

Zhang is the chairman of the standing committee of China's parliament, the National People's Congress, and oversees Hong Kong and Macau affairs. He's in the middle of a three-day "inspection visit" to Macau.