Leaders React to China's Security Bill for Hong Kong

China on Thursday approved a controversial proposal to impose a national security law for Hong Kong, reviving concerns over the financial hub’s diminishing freedoms.

The law will effectively bypass Hong Kong’s legislature, and raises concerns over whether it is a breach of the Chinese city’s autonomy, which was promised under the “one-country-two-systems” principle.

It comes after months of pro-democracy protests, which sometimes spiraled into chaos and violence, that have rocked Hong Kong and devastated key sectors in its economy, including tourism and retail.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, is a special administrative region of China. Under the “one country, two systems” framework, the city is given some freedoms that citizens in the mainland do not have. That includes self-governing power, limited election rights, and a largely separate legal and economic framework from mainland China.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said the decision to implement the law was “designed for steady implementation of ‘one country, two systems’ and Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.”

But critics of the law say it violates that policy and promise of freedom to the Hong Kong people.

Prior to the approval of the bill, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Hong Kong was no longer highly independent from China.

Here’s what other leaders around the world say about China’s move to pass the bill.

In a joint statement, the U.S., U.k., Australia and Canada expressed their “deep concern” regarding Beijing’s proposed law.

"Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of freedom. The international community has a significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability," it said.

"Direct imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong by the Beijing authorities, rather than through Hong Kong’s own institutions as provided for under Article 23 of the Basic Law, would curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties." The Basic Law is Hong Kong’s mini constitution.

The move will "dramatically erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous," they added.