Wave of activists make exit as new national security law is passed

Pro-democracy protesters raise their hands up as a symbol of the

The enactment of the national security legislation came a day ahead of the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty.

The country is moving forward on a security law that would punish subversion and other offences against the state in Hong Kong, which saw massive and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests previous year.

Last week, the U.S. State Department announced that Chinese Communist Party officials deemed to have a role in infringing Hong Kong's autonomy would be barred from receiving U.S. visas.

She added that once the law was passed by the NPC standing committee and added to the annex of Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, her administration would then answer questions on how the law would be implemented and enforced in Hong Kong.

Taiwan has warned its citizens they could be at risk if they visited Hong Kong and President Tsai Ing-wen expressed disappointment after China's parliament passed controversial national security legislation that critics fear will severely curtail freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

On June 20, the NPC standing committee released more details about the draft proposal: Beijing would have jurisdiction over certain cases under exceptional circumstances, the regime would also establish a national security agency in the city, and the chief executive-a position now held by pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam-would appoint judges to hear national security-related cases.

The legislation, which was enacted at the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's parliament, is partially aimed at quelling protest against the pro-Beijing government in the special administrative region.

"The United States is forced to take this action to protect US national security", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Taiwan is set to launch on Wednesday a dedicated office to help those thinking of fleeing Hong Kong.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the U.S. was ending the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong because Washington "can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China".

Some "special cases" will be handled directly from Beijing, with no indication given of what might constitute a "special case".

The United States will suspend the export of controlled defense equipment to Hong Kong, citing China's passage of a new national security law.

The party supports Hong Kong independence and its spokesman is former lawmaker Baggio Leung who was convicted for storming a Legislative Council (Legco) meeting.

Hong Kong police arrested 53 people on Sunday at the scene of a rally against the national security legislation, charging them with illegal assembly under existing public order laws.

The law comes into force as soon as it is gazetted in Hong Kong, which is seen as imminent.

The United States is not ruling out "additional measures" to reflect the reality on the ground in Hong Kong. The very next day, China's state-run media Xinhua reported that a version of the law that could be voted on had been tabled.

He added that Japan would continue to communicate closely with the United States and China, saying stable relations between the two global powers were vital for regional and global security.

The officials targeted were "responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy", which Beijing promised before regaining control of the territory in 1997 from Britain, Pompeo said.

Hong Kong stocks were up 0.9 percent on Tuesday, in line with Asian markets.

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