HK delegates to China's parliament seek mainland security laws to counter protests

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Two Hong Kong delegates to China's parliament are pushing to implement mainland security laws months after pro-democracy protesters shut down major parts of the Chinese-controlled city, broadcaster RTHK said on Sunday.

The last time Hong Kong tried to pass national security legislation was in 2003 when half a million people took to the streets, a key lawmaker withdrew his support and the government was forced to withdraw its proposal.

Stanley Ng, chairman of the pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Unions, said his proposal was triggered by the so-called "Occupy Central" protests, Hong Kong's failure to pass its own national security laws and its lack of laws addressing foreign intervention and secession.

A second Hong Kong delegate to China's rubber-stamp National People's Congress, Peter Wong, said he supported the proposal, RTHK said.

Hong Kong, a vibrant former British colony, returned to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula that gives it more autonomy and freedom than the mainland and a goal of universal suffrage But Beijing's refusal to grant a fully democratic election for the city's leader in 2017 infuriated pro-democracy activists and politicians, prompting the Occupy protests.

Government officials have repeatedly accused foreign forces of instigating the unrest.

The annual NPC meeting is scheduled to begin in Beijing in March.