In Hong Kong, a hotel has been transformed into the headquarters of a new national security agency. The office was opened this morning with an unannounced ceremony.
It comes after the controversial security law, which allows China to operate its own security services in the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong, among other things.
The National Security Safeguard Office is temporarily housed in a hotel near Victoria Park. That is the neighbourhood where the past year was massively demonstrated for more freedoms in Hong Kong and less interference from China.
The office opened this morning with an unannounced ceremony. In the vicinity of the building, roads were closed by the police.
Several top officials attended the ceremony, including the Beijing envoy in Hong Kong and the head of the Chinese garrison in the city.
Head of government Carrie Lam spoke of “a historic moment for Hong Kong” and of “another milestone in establishing a solid legal system and mechanism for upholding Hong Kong’s national security”.
According to Beijing envoy Luo Huining, the time had passed when Hong Kong was “defenceless” at threats to national security.