China reportedly passes national security law for Hong Kong
Hong Kong Police Guard of Honour raises a Chinese national flag and a Hong Kong flag during a flag raising ceremony at the Golden Bauhinia Square on June 15, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.
The top decision-making body in China's parliament has reportedly passed the contentious national security law for Hong Kong, according to local media.
Reuters cited Cable TV in Hong Kong as reporting that the law was passed unanimously by the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress on Tuesday.
Beijing says the law is aimed at prohibiting secession, subversion of state power, terrorism activities and foreign interference. The law was proposed during China's annual parliamentary meeting in late May and reignited protests in Hong Kong over fears that freedoms in the city would be eroded.
It comes ahead of the anniversary of Hong Kong's 1997 handover from the U.K. to mainland China on July 1.
Hong Kong is a former British colony governed under the "one country, two systems" framework and has more autonomy than other Chinese cities, including limited election rights and a largely separate legal and economic system. The special administrative region was handed back to China in 1997.
Ahead of the passage of that law, Eurasia Group said that passing the law before the anniversary of the handover could be an indication that Beijing wants to "clamp down on protests far ahead" of Hong Kong's legislative council elections in September.
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