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Hong Kong’s domestic national security legislation is being prepared at lightning speed with a full draft reaching the Legislative Council on Friday morning, eight days after a month-long consultation period ended.
The legislation is part of a constitutional requirement Hong Kong must fulfil as stated under Article 23 of the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution. It is meant to work in tandem with the Beijing-imposed national security law and fill in gaps in the legal framework on national security.

The legislature is expected to clear the first reading of the bill hours after it is first published in the government gazette in the morning, while a bills committee will begin to deliberate it clause by clause at two back-to-back meetings in the afternoon.

Hong Kong’s Article 23 domestic security law: what are the fears?

Friday also marks the first time the public can read in full the proposed offences’ associated penalties and extraterritorial application, both of which were not disclosed in a consultation paper published on January 30.

After the consultation paper’s broadly worded terms drew concerns, officials have promised more clarity from the draft bill. Sources have suggested the bill may pass as soon as early April.

The Post tracks the full reveal and fast-moving developments of the proposed legislation, which will cover five new offences: treason; insurrection, incitement to mutiny and disaffection, and acts with seditious intention; sabotage; foreign interference; and theft of state secrets and espionage.

It will complement the sweeping national security law that Beijing imposed on the city in 2020 to outlaw acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Follow our live blog for the latest on the passage of the bill.

Reporting by Kahon Chan, Jeffie Lam, Sammy Heung, Elizabeth Cheung and Willa Wu.