China passes national security law for Hong KongReading Time: < 1 minute
The National Standing Committee, China’s top lawmaking body, unanimously approved the legislation on Tuesday morning, Now TV, RTHK and the South China Morning Post reported.
Beijing says the law banning subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces is needed to return stability to Hong Kong after a year of angry pro-democracy protests.
Opponents fear it will demolish the business hub’s cherished political freedoms and hollow out its autonomy given similar laws are used to crush dissent on the authoritarian mainland.
In an unprecedented move, Beijing bypassed Hong Kong’s legislature to pass the law, which was signed off just six weeks after it was first announced.
At her weekly press conference on Tuesday morning, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam – a pro-Beijing appointee – declined to comment on whether the law had been passed.
“I think at this moment, it is not appropriate for me to comment on any questions related to the national security law,” Ms Lam told reporters.
Rights groups, many western governments and the United Nations’ rights body have expressed alarm over the law.
This article was originally published by The Telegraph.