Hong Kong security law takes aim at protester actions

Pro-China supporters holding Chinese national flags, toast during a rally to celebrate the approval of a national security law for Hong Kong, in Hong Kong, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Hong Kong media are reporting that China has approved a contentious law that would allow authorities to crack down on subversive and secessionist activity in Hong Kong, sparking fears that it would be used to curb opposition voices in the semi-autonomous territory. A placard reads "Country secure, Hong Kong secure, the country prospects, the people at peace". (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

HONG KONG (AP) — China has approved a contentious national security law that will allow authorities to crack down on subversive and secessionist activity in Hong Kong. The full legislation was published at 11:00 p.m. (1500 GMT, 11:00 a.m. EDT) and took effect immediately. Offenders could face a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The law has sparked fears that it will be used to curb opposition voices in the semi-autonomous territory. Hong Kong’s leader says it will only target a small minority of lawbreakers. Passage of the law is seen by many as the boldest move yet to erase the legal firewall between the territory and mainland China’s authoritarian Communist Party system.