China Passes National Security Law Allowing Beijing Sweeping Powers over Hong Kong

China Passes National Security Law Allowing Beijing Sweeping Powers over Hong Kong

China’s parliament on Tuesday has unanimously passed national security legislation for Hong Kong prohibiting acts of secession, subversion of state power, terrorism activities and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security, with expected to carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.


South China Morning Post cited an unnamed source that the law was approved unanimously by the standing committee’s 162 members, within 15 minutes of the meeting starting at 9:00 a.m. and Xinhua, the state-owned news agency, would publish the details in the afternoon, marking the first time the law will be fully disclosed to the public.


The bill has yet to reveal, but Xinhua this month earlier has reviewed some of its provisions, including the establishment of a commission of safeguarding national security in Hong Kong “which shall be supervised by and accountable to the Central People’s Government”.


However, SCMP said that the law is expected to come into effect on July 1, the 23rd anniversary of the city’s handover to China from British colonial.


While the United States on Monday has began to halt Hong Kong’s special status, the move was in retaliation for Beijing’s preparation to impose national security law.


The U.S. Commerce Department said it was suspending “preferential treatment to Hong Kong over China, including the availability of export license exceptions,” adding that further actions to eliminate Hong Kong’s exclusive trading status would be evaluated.


“We urge Beijing to immediately reverse course and fulfill the promises it has made to the people of Hong Kong and the world,” it said. 


Pressuring Beijing, the Trump administration has suspend defense exports and restricting the territory’s access to high technology products, making it harder to export sensitive American technology to Hong Kong.