Hong Kong police have arrested at least 16 people in the run-up to a debate over a controversial bill over the Chinese national anthem.
Large-scale protests had been taken into account, but according to local media, they do not yet appear to be forthcoming.
The new law being discussed in the parliament of the metropolis would make it an offence to insult the Chinese national anthem. Offences can then be punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment.
Critics complain that it restricts freedom of expression. The local government calls this criticism exaggerated.
The authorities are on the safe side on Wednesday. The riot police are massively present in parliament, which was looted last year by protesters who were angry with another bill.
That made it possible to extradite suspects to China. That proposal was later withdrawn because of the protests.