Foreign Minister Winston Peters says the Government’s concerned about controversial Chinese security legislation introduced in semi-autonomous Hong Kong.
“We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong Kong is assured of a high degree of autonomy," Mr Peters said.
“Legislating on Hong Kong’s behalf without the direct participation of its people and legislature would challenge that principle."
The proposed bill, which was submitted yesterday in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, aimed to crack down activity Beijing considered subversive. The bill came after months of pro-democracy demonstrations in the region.
“It is important that any national security legislation is enacted in a way that respects the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and has their support," Mr Peters said.
Two scuffles over the past week have already broken out between Hong Kong and pro-Beijing legislators.
Johnny Patterson, director of the non-governmental organisation Hong Kong Watch, told the Associated Press the decision to circumvent Hong Kong's Legislative Council to enact the security legislation is an “unprecedented and highly controversial intervention".
“A broad-brush interpretation of this law would signal the end of Hong Kong as we know it,” he said.
Beijing previously tried to pass similar legislation in Hong Kong in 2003. This was shelved after large street protests.