China's parliament endorsed plans Thursday, May 28 to impose a national security law on Hong Kong that critics say will destroy the city’s autonomy, AFP reports.
Over 2,800 members of the National People's Congress (NPC) voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposal to draft the law, which would punish secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and acts that endanger national security.
The announcement of the result was met with sustained and loud applause by delegates.
Only one person opposed the proposal, while six abstained.
The law would be directly imposed by mainland authorities, effectively bypassing Hong Kong’s government.
According to a draft of the proposal released last week, the law would allow mainland security agencies to operate openly in Hong Kong.
The NPC Standing Committee –- which is likely to meet next in June –- will now be tasked with formulating the legislation, which Beijing has said must be done "at an early date".