Secretary of State says Beijing's new Hong Kong plan is "death knell" for city's autonomy

The city's chief executive says Hong Kong will comply with Beijing's new plan

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Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam
(Anthony Wallace / Getty Images)
Last Updated:
May 22, 2020 - 11:05am

A controversial new national security law out of Beijing that will apply to the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong will be voted on at the end of the National People’s Congress, which begins its annual session Friday.

Following a year of pro-democracy protests and demonstrations in the city, the law will ban “treason, secession, sedition and subversion.” The measure is expected to pass China’s rubber-stamp legislature. It will allow Beijing to target government critics in Hong Kong, meaning the Chinese Communist Party will be able to dispatch their security apparatus to the formerly autonomous city.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the new draft law will “be a death knell” for the city’s autonomy that was established in 1997. “The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal,” said the Secretary.

Carrie Lam, the Beijing appointed leader of Hong Kong, says the city will comply with the Communist Party's plan and that the law will enable authorities to better tackle illegal activity throughout the city. The protests have included violent clashed with police and destruction to businesses.

The city’s benchmark trading index plummeted 5.6% on Friday, in light of the news. But, the destruction of Hong Kong as an international financial hub could damage the Chinese economy more than Beijing anticipates.