China released the details of its sweeping national security legislation for Hong Kong, as the U.S. took steps to roll back its special trade status and privileges that help maintain the former British colony’s status as an international commercial hub.
The legislation, which was published in full only as it took effect, called for sentences as long as life in prison for the most serious cases of terrorism, secession, subversion of state power and collusion with foreign forces. Earlier Tuesday, President Xi Jinping personally signed an order promulgating the legislation. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply concerned” about the law while the Trump administration vowed “strong actions.”
The national security law comes into force just ahead of the 23rd anniversary of the city’s return to China from British rule on July 1, 1997, and a symbolic occasion usually marked by mass protests against Beijing. An appeals panel upheld an unprecedented police ban against a Civil Human Rights Front rally planned for July 1, although some activists said they would march anyway.
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