China approves Hong Kong national security law

Chinese flag by Craig Nagy is licensed under Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
China's legislature on Monday passed a controversial national security law critics say further strips Hong Kong of its autonomy from Beijing.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved the law, which will criminalize foreign interference, subversion and secession, 
The Associated Press reported. President Xi Jinping signed a presidential order promulgating the law shortly thereafter, according to the AP, which cited the state Xinhua News Agency.

Activists and critics of China’s government have warned the measure, which follows months of anti-government protests in the city, would severely undermine the autonomy of Hong Kong granted under the 1997 British handover of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam defended the legislation in a video message to the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying it would “only target an extremely small minority” of suspects and only give Beijing legal authority in “rare, specified situations.”