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Hong Kong on Friday introduced the draft Bill of a new national security law that includes life sentences for major offences such as treason and insurrection.

The home-grown legislation is set to become the city’s second national security law, following the one Beijing imposed in 2020 after quashing huge and sometimes violent democracy protests.

The “Safeguarding National Security Bill” was formally introduced at the city’s Opposition-free legislature on Friday morning for vetting.

Maximum penalty

The Bill lists five new categories of offences — treason, insurrection, espionage and theft of state secrets, sabotaging national security and external interference.

The Bill also reworks Hong Kong’s colonial-era crime of “sedition” to cover inciting hatred against China’s Communist leadership while upping the maximum penalty from two years to 10 years.

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