İrem UZUN -TDO- The Chinese legislature’s top decision-making body has passed and enacted national security legislation for Hong Kong, a major legal effort to restore stability in the special administrative region, which has been embroiled in about a year of social unrest. More than 160 standing committee members of the National People’s Congress (NPC) unanimously voted in favor of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. President Xi Jinping also signed a presidential order to promulgate Hong Kong’s new national security law.

Beijing says the law is necessary to deal with separatism and foreign interference, but critics fear the legislation, which was approved in record time and not made public until after it was passed on Tuesday, will outlaw dissent and destroy the autonomy promised when Hong Kong was returned from the United Kingdom to China in 1997.

In a blueprint of the legislation revealed by Xinhua on June 22, mainland Chinese officials will be allowed to operate in Hong Kong for the first time and give Beijing the power to override local laws. According to the blueprint, Beijing will establish a national security office, staffed by mainland security services to supervise local authorities in policing the law. A national security commission will also be set up, with a Beijing-appointed adviser and operating under "the supervision of the central government”. Ultimately, the blueprint makes clear that national security law trumps local laws. If there is a conflict with existing Hong Kong law, the national security law will prevail.

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