Hong Kong security tightened as lawmakers debate national anthem bill

HONG KONG — Security in Hong Kong was heightened on Wednesday morning as the city legislature prepared to debate a controversial bill that would punish behavior disrespectful of China’s national anthem.

Protesters had called for early-morning action to paralyze traffic and block roads near the Legislative Council in a bid to interrupt the LegCo meeting scheduled for 11 a.m. Yet, in the face of heavy police presence across the city, streets were quiet and traffic was largely undisrupted on Wednesday morning.

Officers have cleared roadblocks — set up by protesters using public trash bins and various debris — in multiple

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Beijing’s Hong Kong security bill immediately countered by US lawmakers

HONG KONG/NEW YORK — Hours after Beijing signaled a tighter grip on Hong Kong with new national security legislation, American lawmakers proposed a bill that would essentially sanction any Chinese officials that enforce such a law.

Senators Pat Toomey, a Republican, and Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, said in a statement Thursday the bill would also require sanctions on banks that do business with such entities.

“In many ways, Hong Kong is the canary in the coal mine for Asia,” Toomey said in the statement. “Beijing’s growing interference could have a chilling effect on other nations struggling for freedom in

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