Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Pro-democracy supporters hold a Hong Kong Independence flag and shout slogans during a rally against the national security law as riot police secure an area in a shopping mall in the city on Tuesday. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Chinese lawmakers passed a sweeping national security law on Tuesday that gives China more powers over the territory, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Beijing's encroachment since 2019 on Hong Kong's independent legal system has prompted huge pro-democracy protests in the Asian financial hub. The law that bypassed Hong Kong's legislature criminalizes sedition, foreign influence and secession in the city. The U.S. is rescinding Hong Kong's special trade status in response to the move.

"It marks the end of Hong Kong that the world knew before."
Tweet by activist Joshua Wong
  • Leading pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong announced in a statement he would quit the Demosisto protest group, citing concerns the passage of the law marks the end of the autonomy the former British colony retained after it was returned to China in 1997 and reports that those who break the law could face life in prison.

Of note: The security law "passed unanimously with 162 votes" one day before the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong being handed back to China, Reuters notes.

  • Per Bloomberg, it's expected to come into force on the anniversary, which pro-democracy activists usually mark with protests.
  • Last year, protesters stormed Hong Kong's Legislative Council, spray-painting slogans on the building's walls.

What they're saying: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement Monday in anticipation of the law passing, "With the Chinese Communist Party's imposition of new security measures on Hong Kong, the risk that sensitive U.S. technology will be diverted to the People's Liberation Army or Ministry of State Security has increased, all while undermining the territory’s autonomy. Those are risks the U.S. refuses to accept and have resulted in the revocation of Hong Kong’s special status."

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in as statement after the law passed, "The Chinese Communist Party's crackdown on Hong Kong prompted the United States to retool its relationship with the territory."
  • Pompeo noted that the Chinese government's threats to retaliate with visas being placed on U.S. citizens over the Trump administration's action "exposes once again how Beijing refuses to take responsibility for its own choices."

What to watch: Protesters are appealing a ban on marching, but some activists said they would rally on Wednesday regardless, according to Bloomberg.

Go deeper: Hong Kong's economic future hangs in the balance

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

The Chinese regulatory flex

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

All significant merger-and-acquisition transactions require regulatory approval — and a new regulator just got to town.

Why it matters: We're in a tit-for-tat trade war, which means that any action the U.S. takes against China is going to be reciprocated by a similar action taken by China against America. That includes regulatory actions.

Don McGahn agrees to closed-door interview with House panel on Russia report

Former White House counsel Don McGahn during a discussion at the NYU Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former White House counsel Don McGahn agreed Wednesday to speak with the House Judiciary Committee about the Russia investigation that led to the impeachment trial of former President Trump — with certain conditions, per a court filing.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two-year standoff after McGahn, a key player in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, repeatedly refused to agree to a subpoena for testimony — resulting in the matter being taken to court.

Updated 24 mins ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Smoke and flames rise after Israeli fighter jets conducted airstrikes in Gaza on May 13, 2021. Israeli forces said on May 12 they had killed a senior Hamas commander and bombed several buildings. Gaza's health ministry has said children are among the dead. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 come days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.