China approves Hong Kong national security law
Why it matters: China bypassed Hong Kong's legislature and chief executive to introduce the law, prompting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to announce Wednesday that the city is no longer autonomous from the Chinese mainland and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.
- President Trump indicated Tuesday that he planned to announced further sanctions against China over the move.
The big picture: The former British colony retained a high degree of autonomy when it was returned to China in 1997.
- Beijing's encroachment on Hong Kong's independent legal system sparked massive protests and several flash-points between police and demonstrators that crippled the city last year.
- Legislators in the Chinese territory later withdrew the bill that would have seen Hong Kongers charged with criminal offenses extradited to China.
- Pro-democracy protesters held smaller protests maintaining physical-distancing as the novel coronavirus hit Hong Kong this year, with authorities banning gatherings of more than eight people.
- But concerns about the law and another bill being debated in Hong Kong that proposes to criminalize any "disrespect of the Chinese Anthem" triggered massive protests in the city this week, and clashes with police.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.