HONG KONG -- A controversial new national security law for Hong Kong has prompted much discussion since Beijing put it into effect on June 30. The Office for Safeguarding National Security, a new organization created under the law and staffed by officials from mainland China, opened in a commandeered hotel in the territory this week.
In form, especially in its broad and vague language, the law differs from legislation in Hong Kong under the system established during British colonial rule. Many in the city and abroad are asking about how the law could affect them. While early sections of the law call for protection of fundamental civil rights, some have been alarmed by provisions for life imprisonment and trial of suspects in mainland China.