China approves controversial national security law for Hong Kong
HONGKONG | China’s legislature has approved a proposal to impose a highly contentious national security law in Hong Kong, in an unprecedented move that critics say threatens fundamental political freedoms and civil liberties in the semi-autonomous territory.
The country’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), nearly unanimously approved the resolution Thursday to introduce the sweeping security legislation, which bans secession, subversion of state power, terrorism, foreign intervention and allows mainland China’s state security agencies to operate in the city.
Only one delegate voted against the proposal, while 2,878 voted for and six abstained.
Now approved, the NPC’s standing committee will draft the law — a process that is expected to take about two months. It will then be implemented upon promulgation by the Hong Kong government, bypassing the city’s legislature via a rarely-enacted constitutional backdoor.
The law will drastically broaden Beijing’s power over Hong Kong, which last year was roiled by anti-government protests calling for greater democracy and more autonomy from mainland China.