Security law could hurt Hong Kong as a global business hub

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Hong Kong’s government insists the law will be good for stability and prosperity, and won’t harm the political freedoms and judicial autonomy the city was guaranteed for half a century when the United Kingdom handed it back to China exactly 23 years ago. But no draft was made public ahead of its approval by Beijing’s top lawmaking body on Tuesday. The law was finally published at 11 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) as it went into effect. It criminalizes offenses such as secession and subversion against the central Chinese government, and its passage has already prompted some opposition groups in Hong Kong to disband. It has caused outcry in the West, where politicians and democracy activists have criticized it as damaging to Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status.Some high profile businesses with deep roots in Hong Kong, such as HSBC (HSBC), Standard Chartered (SCBFF), Swire (SWRAY) (Cathay Pacific’s major shareholder) and Jardine Matheson (JARLF) have previously voiced support for the legislation. “In general, the business community wants the rule of law and they want a stable business environment,” said Simon Lee, a senior lecturer of finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “As long as this national security law can …

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