China’s top legislative body has started deliberations on national security legislation for Hong Kong, the country’s official media said on Thursday.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the draft law earlier approved the National People’s Congress (NPC), has been submitted before the lawmakers for deliberation.

“The draft law was submitted to the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress by the Council of Chairpersons,” the agency said, while quoting the spokesperson’s office of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee.

Last month the NPC, China’s top legislative body, passed a new national security law for Hong Kong to rein in the semi-autonomous region after months of protests last year.

Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region under China since 1997, witnessed large-scale protests last year against the move to legalize extradition of accused persons to mainland China.

Last month, the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada expressed “deep concern” on Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law in Hong Kong.

However, Beijing rejected the concern of these countries and warned them to refrain from meddling in the “internal issue” of Hong Kong.

On June 9, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in conversation with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, said: “Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no outside interference is allowed.”

Wang said maintaining national security in Hong Kong concerns China’s core interests, thereby a major issue of principle that must be adhered to.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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