China’s new national security office in Hong Kong has opened with heavy police presence.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam and two of her predecessors, Leung Chun-ying and Tung Chee-hwa, joined mainland Chinese Communist Party officials to mark the opening of China’s new Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong.

Large water-filled barriers surrounded its entrance, and most media were not allowed to walk down the road, while all normal traffic was blocked.

The new Chinese office in Hong Kong has taken over the Metropark Hotel, owned by the China Travel Service, in the now fashionable neighbourhood of Tai Hang, close to Causeway Bay.

Lam said Tuesday the work of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security she chairs, which oversees enforcement of the law, will not be made public.

So implementation rules giving police sweeping powers to enforce the law won’t be subject to judicial review.

The new office is a result of the national security law that Beijing has introduced in Hong Kong, prohibiting what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist activities or as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs.

Critics see the law as Beijing’s boldest move yet to undermine the liberties and legal protections promised when China took control of the former British colony.

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