China’s bold step in Hong Kong raises ques­tion of U.S. re­sponse

The Washington Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY SHIBANI MAHTANI

hong kong — Se­cret po­lice, sur­veil­lance, ar­bi­trary de­ten­tions, pro­pa­ganda in class­rooms — all of these will be com­ing to Hong Kong un­der a far-reach­ing na­tional se­cu­rity law Bei­jing is uni­lat­er­ally im­pos­ing on the ter­ri­tory.

De­tails of the mea­sure sub­mit­ted to China’s rub­ber-stamp leg­is­la­ture on Fri­day spec­ify that the Com­mu­nist Party can de­ploy “rel­e­vant na­tional se­cu­rity or­gans” to Hong Kong, giv­ing le­gal cover for the first time for the main­land se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus to op­er­ate in the pre­vi­ously au­ton­o­mous fi­nan­cial cen­ter.

With ap­proval ex­pected within a week, Bei­jing will be em­pow­ered to tar­get its crit­ics in the for­mer Bri­tish colony, as it has done on the Chi­nese main­land. Ac­tions that once shocked, such as the kid­nap­ping of book­sell­ers from Hong Kong in 2015, will be le­gal — and per­haps rou­tine.

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