The new legislation paves the way for the most drastic changes to the lifestyle of the former British colony since its return to China almost 23 years ago.
It was adopted unanimously by the main decision-making body of the Chinese Parliament, Hong Kong media reported on Tuesday.
The legislation would aim to limit subversive, secessionist and terrorist activities, as well as foreign intervention in the affairs of Hong Kong.
Critics fear it may be used to target protesters and opposition politicians who are considered disloyal in Beijing by heavy prison terms.
It is seen as a response to the often violent anti-government protests that sometimes sank in violence in the city last year.
The law is also believed to give the Chinese security services the power to operate in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Chief Carrie Lam said it was inappropriate for her to comment on the law while the Standing Committee meeting was still in progress.
The heaviest sentence that can be imposed in the new security law is life imprisonment, according to Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times, citing people who have seen the bill.
The repercussions of the adoption of the law have already started with the famous Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, saying that he is resigning from his post as leader of his democratic group Demosisto.
Wong has rallied support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement abroad, particularly in the United States, which has angered Beijing, which calls itself a “black hand” of foreign forces.
Announcing his decision to resign, Wong said he would be a “prime target” for Beijing’s new national security law.
China’s adoption of the law is expected to weigh more heavily on Beijing’s relations with the United Kingdom, the United States, and other western governments, which said it eroded the high degree of autonomy granted to Hong Kong. when he took over on July 1, 1997.
The UK has urged China not to pass the law and has promised to make it easier for the millions of people in Hong Kong who hold or are eligible for a British national passport abroad to become British citizens.
The United States Senate has passed a bill to sanction Chinese officials who undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has imposed visa restrictions on current and former party officials.
On Monday, the United States began eliminating Hong Kong’s special status under US law, halting exports of defense products, and restricting territory’s access to high-tech products.
Commenting on Washington’s actions, Ms. Lam said, “No kind of punishment will ever scare us. “
A bill has yet to be released.
Cabinet secretary general Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday that if China had passed the security law for Hong Kong, it was “extremely unfortunate.”
And the Taiwanese government has warned of the risks for residents visiting Hong Kong due to the new legislation, saying it would “seriously undermine” freedom, democracy and human rights. in the city.
In June, the European Parliament adopted a resolution saying that the European Union should bring China to the International Court of Justice in The Hague if Beijing imposes the law.
Beijing plans to establish a national security office in Hong Kong to “supervise, guide and support” the city’s government, and may also exercise jurisdiction in some cases.
The official Chinese state agency Xinhua will release details of the law on Tuesday afternoon and Hong Kong officials will meet at the Beijing High Representative Office for a meeting on the legislation, according to the South China Morning Post.
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Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said that the law targets some “troublemakers” and will not affect the rights and freedoms or the interests of investors.
This comes after police banned the rally from July 1 this year to the anniversary of the handover in 1997 due to restrictions on coronaviruses.