China's top lawmaking body passes Hong Kong national security law

WION Web Team Beijing Jun 30, 2020, 07.41 AM(IST)

Beijing and Hong Kong's government said the new powers would only target a "very small minority". But it has quickly become clear certain political views, even if expressed peacefully, are now illegal -- especially calls for independence or autonomy. The first arrests under the new law came on Wednesday, almost all of them people who were in possession of flags or leaflets promoting independence. Photograph:( Reuters )

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China's parliament had earlier endorsed the legislation last month while sending the draft to the Standing Committee for discussion.

According to reports, China passed the national security law for Hong Kong on Tuesday.

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China's top lawmaking body the National Standing Committee unanimously approved the legislation, reports said.

China bypassed Hong Kong’s legislature to pass the law six weeks after announcing it.

Also Read: Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law quit democracy group Demosisto

Meanwhile, Demosisto, the Hong Kong pro-democracy party founded by  Joshua Wong and former student activists announced it was disbanding after China announced it had passed the national security law.

"After much internal deliberation, we have decided to disband and cease all operation as a group given the circumstances," Demosisto said.

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."

China's parliament had earlier endorsed the legislation last month while sending the draft to the Standing Committee for discussion.

Reports claimed the 162-member National People’s Congress Standing Committee backed the legislation unanimously which is expected to become  effective on July 1     

China had agreed before Britain handed Hong Kong in 1997 that it would to let Hong Kong to maintain certain liberties and autonomy until 2047, but critics say the national security law overlooks those liberties for Hong Kong citizens.