China’s legislature has passed a controversial national security law for Hong Kong that the United States and pro-democracy activists believe will further erode the semi-autonomous city’s freedoms.
The new law, approved Tuesday in Beijing by the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, generally calls for the central government in Beijing to establish a national security office in Hong Kong aimed at confronting subversion of state power, terrorism, separatism and collusion with foreign forces. The exact details of the new law have yet to be released.
The new law caps Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aggressive efforts to tighten control over the financial hub over the past few years, which has led to massive street protests by pro-democracy activists seeking greater freedoms for Hong Kong. The city was rocked during the second half of 2019 by angry and often violent demonstrations sparked by a controversial extradition bill that was eventually withdrawn.