China passes national security law aimed at quashing rebellion in Hong Kong

The new law was fast-tracked through the National People's Congress and went into effect immediately upon passage

Last Updated:
June 30, 2020 - 11:01am

On Tuesday, China's legislature passed a new national security law aimed at preventing and punishing rebellious, subversive, and threatening behavior in Hong Kong, in addition to collusion with foreign countries. The law went into effect immediately.

The full text of the law has not yet been released, and pro-democracy groups and businesses in Hong Kong fear its greater implications. 

Last month, Beijing announced plans to enact sweeping national security legislation in Hong Kong that potentially limits the civil liberties and autonomy of the Chinese financial hub. Western countries have criticized the decision by Beijing as an attempt to undo the "one country, two systems" policy that was established when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in the late 90s. 

The new law allows the Chinese central government final authority over its enforcement, meaning it will be able to intervene directly and bypass the Hong Kong city courts to impose a final say over how the law is implemented.

Last week, the Trump administration announced it would impose visa restrictions on Chinese officials responsible for limiting civil liberties in Hong Kong. The Senate passed a similar measure, imposing sanctions on Chinese officials and businesses responsible for undermining Hong Kong's autonomy. Other western nations are debating similar measures and have widely condemned the actions of Beijing.

Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, said she had not seen a full draft of the law before it was passed on Tuesday. Though, she attempted to assure residents that the new legislation would not impact the judicial independence of Hong Kong.

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