China passes national security law for Hong Kong

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong media are reporting that China has approved a contentious law that would allow authorities to crack down on subversive and secessionist activity in Hong Kong, sparking fears that it would be used to curb opposition voices in the semi-autonomous territory.

The South China Morning Post newspaper and public broadcaster RTHK, both citing unnamed sources, said that the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress voted unanimously to approve a national security law for Hong Kong on Tuesday.

There was no official confirmation from the central government in Beijing or Hong Kong officials.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam declined to comment on the national security law at a weekly meeting with reporters, saying it was “inappropriate” for her to do so while the Standing Committee meeting was still in progress.

The legislation is aimed at curbing subversive, secessionist and terrorist activities, as well as foreign intervention in the city’s affairs. It follows months of anti-government protests that at times descended into violence in Hong Kong last year.