USA ends arms exports to China, restricts visas amid Hong Kong row

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives a news conference about dealings with China and Iran and on the fight against the coronavirus disease pandemic in Washington U.S

She vowed to provide "solid support for the Hong Kong people".

"It is regrettable that the national security law was enacted despite strong concerns shared among the worldwide society and the people of Hong Kong", Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said.

Analysts said that even without knowing details, the security law radically restructures the relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong.

The law was approved Tuesday on the eve of the anniversary of Britain's 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China.

"This is the end of 'one country, two systems, '" said Dennis Kwok, a lawmaker of the Civic Party, referring to the framework by which Beijing promised to preserve the city's autonomy upon Hong Kong's transfer of sovereignty from Britain to China in 1997.

"We hope the law will serve as a deterrent to prevent people from stirring up trouble", Tam said, adding that Hong Kong should not be "used as a tool to split the country".

"If my voice will not be heard soon, I hope that the worldwide community will continue to speak up for Hong Kong and step up concrete efforts to defend our last bit of freedom", Wong said on social media.

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

In 2018, $432.7m of goods were shipped to Hong Kong under a Commerce Department exception, mostly relating to encryption, software and technology.

China's state news agency, Xinhua, confirmed that President Xi Jinping had now signed the security law.

"From now on, China will have the power to impose its own laws on any criminal suspect it chooses". "We urge Beijing to immediately reverse course and fulfill the promises it has made to the people of Hong Kong and the world", the statement read.

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However, it remains unclear whether the law will be applied retroactively.

A security commission directly reporting to the central government will also be set up in the territory, the report said.

"This decision, which rides rough-shod over Hong Kong's elected legislature, marks the end of one-country, two-systems".

The U.S. views the national security law as being in breach of China's worldwide obligations under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration governing the 1997 handover.

Hong Kong has banned protests in recent months, citing previous unrest and the coronavirus pandemic, although local transmissions have ended.

Some governments in Asia criticized Beijing's move. Senior judges now allocate rosters up through Hong Kong's independent judicial system.

London-based rights group Amnesty International said the law would give China sweeping new powers to name anyone in Hong Kong a criminal suspect under the law.

"We deplore this decision", European Council head Charles Michel told a press conference Tuesday. "We are disappointed that China can not fulfill its commitments, which also proves that the "one country, two systems" is not feasible".

Washington - which has embarked on a trade war with China - has said the security law means Hong Kong no longer enjoys sufficient autonomy from the mainland to justify special status.

President Donald Trump's administration has already declared that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous in U.S. eyes and has been rolling out a series of measures in response.

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