China’s official news agency Xinhua said the signing occurred on Tuesday, shortly after the country’s top lawmaking body voted unanimously to adopt the law and decided that it would be included in Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.
The new law, which takes immediate effect, would criminalize sedition, secession, and subversion against mainland China, and paved the way for Chinese national security institutions to operate in the city for the first time since 1997, when Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule.
Western countries have harshly criticized the law, claiming that it would undermine the city’s autonomy and the “one country, two systems” principle.
China has rejected the criticism as interference in its domestic affairs.
Security law ‘a sword hanging over heads of rioters’
On Tuesday, Chinese and Hong Kong authorities insisted that the law would only target a minority of people, and vowed to restore business confidence after a year of unrest in the city.
China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing warned that for the few individuals trying to endanger the security of Hong Kong, the law would be a “sword hanging over their heads,” and also a
“protective talisman” for those who want peace and stability in the city.