China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said earlier that the law would criminalize crimes such as secession, overthrowing the central Chinese government, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers.
A bill was not made public before it was approved, which means that most people in Hong Kong have not seen details of a law that will now govern their lives.
The resolution has not been officially confirmed and the details remain unclear. However, RTHK reports that the maximum possible sentence for crimes under the law will be “much higher” than 10 years in prison.
Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lahm declined to comment on the progress of the bill in its weekly press conference Tuesday morning, saying it would be “inappropriate” to answer questions while the NPC meeting is still ongoing.
Legislation has been widely criticized by Hong Kong opposition lawmakers, human rights groups and politicians around the world, with many saying the law would boost Beijing’s direct control of the semi-autonomous city. Many worry that the law could be used to target political dissidents, a fear stemming from China’s judicial history.
The vote comes a day before July 1, the anniversary of the surrender of Hong Kong by British colonial rule in China in 1997. It has been an annual day of protests in the city, but for the first time since the police surrendered. protesters are allowed to hold peaceful demonstrations.
This is a growing story