China passes controversial Hong Kong security law

China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a contentious national security law that will allow Beijing to crack down on political dissent in Hong Kong, rolling back the autonomy the former British colony was promised when it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

The U.S. has vowed to impose sanctions on any Chinese officials responsible for eroding Hong Kong’s political freedoms. On Monday, China said it would respond with visa restrictions on Americans.

The U.S. also has suspended part of Hong Kong’s special trade status.

Critics in Hong Kong warn the law, which lets the Communist Party central government set up a security apparatus in Hong Kong to collect intelligence, will be used to stamp out pro-democracy protests.

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