China passed its national security legislation for Hong Kong that created radical changes to the way of life in the city. The mandate reverted China's rule on Hong Kong to a state exactly like that from 23 years ago.
The official Chinese state media is expected to publish the details of the Hong Kong National Security Law. The legislation was a response to the 2019 Hong Kong protests whose purpose is to tackle terrorism, subversion, separatism, and collusion with foreign forces.
The law caused international disapproval as it was perceived to defeat the rights and freedoms of the global financial hub. The editor-in-chief of the Communist Party's official newspaper Global Times revealed that the most substantial penalties for violations are life imprisonment. According to the pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, he would quit his Demosisto group upon implementation of the said law.
He also posted through his official Twitter account that the legislation marks the end of the Hong Kong that the world perceived it to be before the law was enacted. The enactment also pushed Beijing further along a collision course with the United States, the United Kingdom, and some Western governments. These states claimed that the law would disrupt the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong, a country that enjoyed a more liberal government since July 1, 1997.
According to Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam during a weekly news conference, it was inappropriate for her to give comments about the legislation. At the same time, the deliberations on the law were ongoing in Beijing. She, however, responded to US sentiments that the sanctioning action in Hong Kong does not intimidate the state.
The vice-president of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Lau Siu-kai revealed that the internationally criticized legislation was passed unanimously with 162 votes.
On top of this, Beijing authorities and Hong Kong repeatedly discussed during the deliberations that they aim to abolish troublemakers in both territories without affecting the rights and freedoms of its citizens, including investor interests.
Last month, China's Xinhua news agency revealed some of the law's provisions that showed China superseding existing Hong Kong legislation. This includes the power of interpreting the law, which is now lodged to China's parliament top committee.
Beijing is also expected to set up a national security office in Hong Kong. It would supervise, guide, and support the Hong Kong city government and gives power to Beijing on exercising jurisdiction over certain cases.