Mass protests have erupted in Hong Kong against a plan by the Chinese government to impose a new security law.
They follow a huge pro‑democracy movement that swept Hong Kong last year.
Police attacked demonstrators with water cannon and tear gas during thousands-strong protests on Sunday. Demonstrators gathered in the Causeway Bay and Wan Chai districts wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus.
The actions defied a ban on large public gatherings and an eight-person limit on groups.
The proposed new law would ban “treason, secession, sedition and subversion” in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has backed it.
Activists fear it would make it much easier for the Chinese state to target its political opponents in the territory. Pro‑democracy campaigner Joshua Wong asked, “How many will be prosecuted? How many groups will be replaced? Will we be transferred to China?”
Others said the law would end the “one country, two systems” deal that means people in Hong Kong have more freedoms.
Protesters on Sunday chanted, “Free Hong Kong,” and, “Hong Kong independence is the only way out.”
The proposed law could see such slogans banned.
It could also allow China to set up its own law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong to “safeguard national security”. China’s government said it is needed to “prevent, stop and punish” protests.
Some protesters smashed the windows of clothing store A Bathing Ape, whose owner is seen as pro-China. Demonstrators pulled mannequins from the shop’s window display and used them as roadblocks. More street protests are being planned for Wednesday.