Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Riot police hold up a warning flag during a demonstration against China's new national security law, in a mall, in Hong Kong, on July 6, 2020.

Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

Hong Kong released additional details of China’s new national security law for the former British colony on Monday, saying security forces had overriding authority to enter and search properties for evidence and stop people from leaving the city.

Hong Kong returned to China on July 1, 1997, under a “one country, two systems” formula guaranteeing wide-ranging autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland, including an independent judiciary.

But under China’s new legislation, crimes of secession and sedition will be punishable by up to life in prison, stoking concerns of a much more authoritarian era in a city which has been racked by anti-China protests for the past year.

Story continues below advertisement

While Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have insisted the law will only target a minority of what they call “troublemakers,” diplomats, business groups and rights activists have said it is the latest example of Beijing’s tightening grip on the city.

Chinese government threatens Canada, warning its own citizens to exercise caution when travelling to the country

‘Can you help me move tomorrow?' In Hong Kong, Chinese security law prompts soaring interest in emigrating

New Hong Kong security law allows Beijing to go after critics well beyond China’s borders

Beijing imposed the legislation on Hong Kong, a major financial and trade hub, despite protests from Hong Kongers and Western nations.

The details of the new legislation stated that authorities will have the power to enter and search places for evidence. They can also restrict people under investigation from leaving Hong Kong.

It may also allow for confiscation of the proceeds related to any offence endangering national security. It will require foreign and Taiwan political organizations and agents to provide information on activities concerning Hong Kong.

Critics say the law – which punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison – is aimed at crushing dissent and a long-running campaign for greater democracy which has drawn huge crowds on to the streets.

Some protests have erupted into violence between police and demonstrators.

In London on Monday, the Chinese ambassador accused Britain of gross interference and making irresponsible remarks over Beijing’s imposition of the legislation.

Story continues below advertisement

Britain has described the security law as a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration under which it handed back its colony to China 13 years later.

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said there might be many consequences if Britain treated Beijing as an enemy or with suspicion.

“We want to be your friend. We want to be your partner. But if you want to make China a hostile country, you will have to bear the consequences,” he said.

Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong spoke out against the new national security law in Hong Kong on Monday before a court appearance related to a protest last year outside the police headquarters. Reuters

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies