China passes Hong Kong security law

Earlier Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam had said that "it is not appropriate for me to comment on any questions related to the national security law".

The country is moving forward on a security law that would punish subversion and other offences against the state in Hong Kong, which saw massive and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests past year.

After the press conference, three founders of Hong Kong's local pro-democracy party Demosistō; Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Nathan Law, announced their withdrawal from their party.

Any sanctions against city will not "scare us", she added.

The action is the latest in a series of planned steps by the United States government to protest China's move, codified in a May meeting of the National People's Congress, to move ahead with a national security law for Hong Kong.

The law is expected may be passed during this week's meeting of the National People's Congress Standing Committee; the law's full text has not been published.

"In response to the US's wrongful actions, China will take necessary countermeasures".

Hong Kong officials will also meet at Beijing's top representative office in the city to discuss the law.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said the USA would stop exporting sensitive military items to Hong Kong, following his announcement Friday that Washington was imposing visa restrictions on current and former Chinese Communist Party members believed to be responsible for undermining Hong Kong's promised autonomy and traditional freedoms. Beijing could also exercise jurisdiction on certain cases.

Hours before her press conference, the U.S. State Department announced that it will end exports of U.S. -origin defense equipment to Hong Kong, as well as restrict U.S. defense and dual-use technologies in the former British colony given Beijing's intentions to impose its national security law. Senior judges now allocate rosters up through Hong Kong's independent judicial system.

Hong Kong is one of many developing conflicts between Beijing and Washington, on top of trade issues, the South China Sea and the coronavirus pandemic.

In Hong Kong, large-scale demonstrations sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill with mainland China morphed into an anti-government movement past year, with protesters seeking a probe into police use of force.

Under Beijing's "one country, two systems" policy, Hong Kong was promised it would enjoy the rights and freedoms of a semiautonomous region for 50 years following the former British colony's return to Chinese rule in 1997. It is unclear if attending the rally would constitute a national security crime if the law came into force by Wednesday.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday that if China had passed the security law for Hong Kong, it was "extremely regrettable". The very next day, China's state-run media Xinhua reported that a version of the law that could be voted on had been tabled.

The European Parliament earlier in June passed a resolution saying the European Union should take China to the International Court of Justice in The Hague if Beijing imposed the law. China's official Xinhua News Agency will publish details of the law later on Tuesday, the Post said.

The Taiwan government warned its citizens of risks in visiting Hong Kong.

Hong Kong stocks were up 0.9 percent on Tuesday, in line with Asian markets.



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