What Does the New Law Mean?
The details released Tuesday described a law even harsher than what many had expected. Under the new rules, a maximum life sentence could be handed out for anyone found guilty of “separatism,” “subversion,” “terrorism” or “collusion with foreign forces.” The definition of terrorism will include acts of vandalism, like those carried out by protesters during demonstrations over the past year.
The legislation offers more leniency toward those who agree to provide information about others. It will also pave the way for Beijing to install a new national security council in the city, with its members to be chosen by authorities in Beijing. The law will also staff a new magistrate court and law enforcement agencies with Chinese authorities and increases police authority to “intercept communications and covertly surveil persons reasonably suspected of crimes against national security.”