Hong Kong clashes over new security law

ABC News’ Britt Clennett reports on the hundreds arrested as China tightens its grip on Hong Kong.
6:37 | 07/02/20

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Transcript for Hong Kong clashes over new security law
Heading overseas to Hong Kong now where critics say as sweeping or security law and posed by Beijing is targeting Hong Kong's protesters. Demonstrators still took to the streets in the last point for hours despite that new law and the threat of arrest. But some are not questioning is this the beginning of the end of democracy in Hong Kong. Brick planet is on the ground there but the latest Brit. The hostile homegrown simply district riot police gathering in numbers. I think I'm taking my Texas which is seeing this incredibly heavy police presence. Honestly I concede that way and that way it won't come and play but it didn't really hot winning so that these businesses that Jamie Lynn in this Andrea. Soon will consistent sound the area. Tension returning to Hong Kong streets following the abrupt introduction of a new national security middle of the night. Camilla targets alleged subversion and succession terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Beijing says it's necessary to stop the unrest. But activists say it signals the end of the one country two systems framework. Which is meant to give Hong Kong the degree of autonomy. The new lore is very much designed to stop scenes of protests like this. Okay. And but it seems a little hasn't yet had the deterrent effect Beijing and hopeful and thousands tens out in defiance of the little anyway. You felt compelled to come out today and it is. We have we don't have and the anything. What what do you think's gonna happen I mean this lawyer is is and false now. Is it time to kind of give up the planks and get back to normal in Hong Kong well that's what's being silent thus any democracy. Come up ENECT in the world in any country in the world. Even people all gate Bob. Yet Hong Kong police didn't waste time making its first batch of arrests under the new lol. Does the place Manning had excessive and free again another. I just sit down on the ground into the Florida pregnant been elected. A new purple flag warns the test is that under the new low carrying banners that called for independence is banned. Several included in the this ticket pulling for come from independents as well as the slogans we've being hearing pulley independence is absolutely illegal this Atlantic giant. As tensions escalated throughout the day reports came in that a policeman had been stabbed. And journalist was not down by water cannon. And tear gas was used to discuss the test is GIs. In what might as well of being a world away officials hosted the 23 anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain to Chinese rule. The controversial law as one top Chinese official in Beijing described it was the central government's birthday gift to the city. Hong co lead a carry lab once again stepped out in defense of the little. We could single from no valid reason why China milk should be inhibits it from enacting national security legislation. To protect every comma of his territory and all of its nationals. But the international community isn't buying it. The legislation through an instant condemnation. Free Hong Kong was one of the world's most stable. Prosperous and dynamic cities now now we just another Communist run city where its people we subject to the party elites wins. The and that's wouldn't and the position of this national security nor constitutes eight clear and serious breach. Be Sino British joint declaration. Britain Hong Kong's former colonial rule it is now offering a pop wasted British citizenship for millions in Hong Kong. But with China are appearing steadfast on its influence the Hong Kong. And one pod and the law criminalizing collusion with foreign forces. It's not clear how much impact global condemnation will actually happen. And Brit Clinton joins me now from Hong Kong Britain first let me take a quick moment to officially welcome news ABC news were so happy to have you on team. Thanks very knots. The talk a little bit about what you're seeing here it's been over 24 hours since this new security law went into effect there. What kind of an impact does it seem to be having on us both of these protests or the arrest that you're seeing. Well Diane and the interesting thing is that there's not a protest planned for today but we've anger avoiding it like yourself. Pay a map peace but cool. Win likely to see protests in the coming weeks but let's not forget there still could write a virus restrictions here at home comment yet. We sold those scenes yesterday. What we can say is that there has been. Some retreat from activists but definitely. You know summit of reporting to have fled to Taiwan others have completely deleted that social media presence. But from what we've seen it lost 24 ballot there's still a sizable group. Willing to stand up to China just don't want a very prominent activist says that he is. Political group that assist it was disbanded to protect its Mendez and that he would continue to fight. And stay at home home. And how of the residents they're reacting to the possibility of losing Hong Kong's autonomy from China what what it currently had. Well Diana a lot of people waste sites say yes today we're extremely worried but. It's not just residents and activists here who are concerned about this hill the whole legal sect. Has cried foul evidence sadly gentlest obsessed. Even members of the business community not considering leaving that companies elsewhere in Asia let's not forget up until recently this was considered one of the three is SEC east and Asia so it's been quite a dramatic ten. And it you're talking about companies potentially leaving where are you talking your piece about Britain offering a path to citizenship. To go over there Q does it seem like the people in Hong Kong. Could leave in masks if this happens or do they seem determined to stay. You know I think that's two different chants hey that's certainly indications. That some aren't looking to made abroad may be Taiwan may be Canada and certainly people who have. British embassies national possible it's are weighing up that option as well. But he never like I say we we have spoken to people who say they will stay in Hong Kong fable fights in Hong Kong soil. Whatever it takes. I've treatment they're from Hong Kong Brit welcome to the team thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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