Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a news conference in Hong Kong on May 26, 2020 [Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

China’s plans to impose a new security law on Hong Kong will “only target a handful of lawbreakers”, the city’s leader has said as she tried to reassure residents, investors and businesses rattled by the proposal.

Carrie Lam’s comments on Tuesday came amid widespread concerns over Beijing’s plans for legislation aiming to tackle “secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference” in semi-autonomous Hong Kong.

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It could also see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in the city.

Many Hong Kongers, business groups and Western nations fear the proposal could be a death knell to the city’s treasured freedoms and usher in an end

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