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China’s Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to approve a new law directly imposing national security legislation on Hong Kong to tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in a city roiled last year by months of anti-government protests.

The National People’s Congress voted 2,878 to 1 in favour of the decision to empower its standing committee to draft the legislation, with six abstentions.

The legislators gathered in the Great Hall of the People burst into sustained applause when the vote tally was projected onto screens.

Activists have warned the security laws could bring an end to the autonomy of China’s freest city, now guaranteed under a policy known as “one country, two systems”.

China unveiled the legislation in Beijing last week, triggering the first big protests in Hong Kong for months.

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