August 4, 2021

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Hong Kong makes first arrest under China’s new national security law

Hong Kong Police Guard of Honour raises a Chinese national flag and a Hong Kong flag during a flag raising ceremony at the Golden Bauhinia Square on June 15, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.

Anthony Kwan | Getty Images

Hong Kong police announced on Wednesday that they have made their first arrest since China’s national security law came into force.

The contentious National Security Law was passed on Tuesday and took effect hours later.

It stipulates that a person who acts with a view to “undermining national unification” of Hong Kong with the mainland faces punishment of up to lifetime, depending on the severity of the offense.

Under the new law, many of Hong Kong’s protests that took place last year would be punishable by law.

Critics say the security law will undermine the autonomy promised to Hong Kong when it was handed over from the U.K. to China on July 1, 1997. Wednesday marks the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover.

Hong Kong — governed under the “one country, two systems” framework — enjoys freedoms that other Chinese cities do not have, such as election rights and a largely separate legal and economic system.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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