Beijing’s top legislative body has unanimously passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, a controversial move that could effectively criminalize most dissent in the city and risks widening the rift between China and western countries who have criticized the law.
The news was first reported by local Hong Kong media: cable televsion station NOWNews; the city’s public broadcaster; and a slew of newspapers, including Wei Wen Po and Ta Kung Pao, two pro-Beijing outlets which often signal official Chinese policy.
Hours later, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported President Xi Jinping had already signed the measure into law. Xinhua said it will be incorporated into Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the law would take effect by late Tuesday.