Hong Kong's crackdown on dissent is taking new heights with the deployment of an elite security unit for political surveillance. The police force's so-called security wing, known traditionally for tasks like counter-terrorism is now being used to monitor those who see an independent future for Hong Kong. It's ringing alarm bells for critics who say Hong Kong's government is pirating China's ideologies.
Reuters James Pomfret has been speaking to officials in the city.>> What we're hearing is that this security wing is actually doing a lot of work now, that is rather secretive. And what they've not readily disclosed even to lawmakers in an attempt to clamp down even more in these so called radical activists.
>> The former British Colony was handed back to China in 1997, and it's suppose to enjoy wide ranging autonomy under the one country, two systems rule. But sources told Reuters the security force has led surveillance, and monitoring operations against more than a dozen groups, as the government hews closer to Beijing.
>> Critics say this is just not an appropriate or proportionate response to the actual threat that they do actually pose. They're just youngsters who are frustrated with Beijing, and China squeezing Hong Kong.>> There aren't official laws against calls for independence in Hong Kong. But many observers say recent events show the government is tightening its grip even without the legislation.
And that it appears to be treating even the consideration of independence by activists as a vital threat.