Hong Kong Police Detain Dozens Amid Rally Ahead of Draconian Security Law

Dozens arrested amid Hong Kong protests against proposed national security law

The US "scheme to obstruct the passage of the Hong Kong national security law will never prevail", said Zhao. Arguing that the security law will diminish the city's autonomy, the Trump administration is moving to treat Hong Kong equally with mainland China for trading purposes.

On Sunday, residents of Hong Kong held a silent protest in the Kowloon district.

But in an article published late on June 28 evening, state-run newspaper Global Times, citing unnamed legal experts, stated that the national security law "could apply retrospectively to those cases relevant to anti-extradition bill movement", though there was no reference to any retroactive clauses in the initial draft adopted by NPC in May.

The move has strained China's relations with the United States and other Western nations, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying on Friday that Washington would place visa restrictions on Chinese officials responsible for curtailing freedoms in Hong Kong.

Beijing has defended the law by arguing such a measure is needed to restore stability to Hong Kong, which has been rocked by sometimes violent protests over the a year ago stemming first from a now-shelved extradition bill and general dissatisfaction with Beijing's heavy-handed governance. The exact details of the new law have yet to be released.

The special treatment of Hong Kong refers to what is offered by the Hong Kong Relations Act enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1992.

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Democracy activists in Hong Kong are still trying to determine if the law will be applied retroactively. Asked about the measures at a news conference on Tuesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it was not appropriate to comment.

Hong Kong was supposed to maintain a high degree of autonomy from China for 50 years after the British returned the colony in 1997 under a special one-country, two-systems arrangement. We have many agreements that are unique between the United States and Hong Kong, separate and different from those we have with Beijing.

Ting Yi-ming, a spokesman for Taiwan's Executive Yuan, stated his government's "solemn condemnation" of the law while warning Taiwanese travelers "to be careful of the risk that could emerge going to Hong Kong after the enactment of the national security laws".

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the reported passage of the security law "regrettable" at a regular news briefing, adding that it would "undermine the trust of the global community in the "one country, two systems" principle", which he said is "extremely important" to Japan.

China says the national security law will target only a small group of troublemakers and people who abide by the legislation have no reason to worry.

Zhao reiterated China's insistence that the law was "purely an internal affair of China, and no foreign country has the right to interfere".

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