New Hong Kong law sets harsh penalties for broadly defined political crimes

Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks to guests after a flag-raising ceremony to mark the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain

China Enacts Security Law, Asserting Control Over Hong Kong

Suspects arrested by the mainland's new office in Hong Kong on charges of violating the new national security law for the city will be tried in the mainland, a senior Chinese government official said on Wednesday (July 1).

The US will end the exports of US-origin defense equipment to Hong Kong, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday, citing the need to protect American national security as the tensions between the US and China continue to escalate.

He said the new powers, which could restrict protests and freedom of speech, threatened the city's autonomy.

"The law is a birthday gift to (Hong Kong) and will show its precious value in the future", Zhang said, adding the law would not be applied retroactively. But pro-democracy lawmakers and activists have urged people to defy the ban and take to the streets.

But it said it needed more time to determine whether Beijing has breached its "One Country, Two Systems" promise.

It establishes a Hong Kong government national security committee, exempts decisions made by the committee from judicial overview, and mandates that the committee must have a Beijing-appointed advisor.

Almost 2.93 million Hong Kong residents earlier signed a petition in support of the national security legislation during an eight-day campaign starting May 24.

Police said in a message displayed on a purple banner: "You are displaying flags or banners/chanting slogans/or conducting yourselves with an intent such as secession or subversion, which may constitute offences under the. national security law".

The law has drawn fierce criticism from the global community, as it is seen as a breach of Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" principle, which guarantees people in the city a high degree of autonomy and civil liberties that are absent in the rest of China.

"We reiterate that Hong Kong is an inseparable part of China, that Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs that brook no interference by foreign forces".

"We remain in touch with our global partners on this matter and will pay careful attention to how to respond".

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, said: "The US is attempting to obstruct China's legislation for safeguarding national security in the HK SAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) by imposing the so-called sanctions, but it will never succeed".

Hong Kong's "One Country, Two Systems" formula helped cement the city's status as a world-class business hub, bolstered by an independent judiciary and political freedoms unseen on the mainland.

"The legislation will protect the majority of people who abide by the laws", Lam said.

Pompeo added that the United States is taking steps to restrict exports to Hong Kong of USA defense and dual-use technologies.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would give extra rights to British National (Overseas) passport holders.

Will the United Kingdom now go ahead and offer residence in the United Kingdom, theoretically to millions of people in Hong Kong as promised by Boris Johnson?

The Trump administration also last week imposed visa restrictions on CCP officials that Pompeo said were "responsible for undermining Hong Kong's autonomy".

The Chinese and Hong Kong flags are released during the flag-raising ceremony.

Hong Kong's leader strongly endorsed the new law in her speech marking Wednesday's 23rd anniversary of the territory's handover from colonial Britain.

The end of Hong Kong self-governance?

President Xi Jinping signed a presidential order putting the law into effect and it has been added to the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitution. "It will undermine trust for the principle of 'one country, two systems'".

"China promised that Hong Kong would remain unchanged for 50 years".

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