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Chinese lawmakers endorse Hong Kong national security law

Former Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung (left) and other delegates waited to greet Chinese President Xi Jinping after the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.
Former Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung (left) and other delegates waited to greet Chinese President Xi Jinping after the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press

BEIJING — China’s ceremonial legislature on Thursday endorsed a national security law for Hong Kong that has strained relations with the United States and Britain.

The National People’s Congress approved the bill as it wrapped up an annual session that was held under intensive anti-coronavirus controls.

The Hong Kong security law will alter the territory’s mini-constitution, or Basic Law, to require its government to enforce measures to be decided later by Chinese leaders.

The measure and the way it is being enacted prompted Washington to announce it no longer will treat Hong Kong as being autonomous from Beijing.

Activists in Hong Kong have complained the law will undermine civil liberties and might be used to suppress political activity.

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The legislature also approved a government budget that will increase spending to generate jobs in an effort to reverse an economic slump after Chinese industries were shut down to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese President Xi Jinping pressed the green button as he voted on a new draft security bill for Hong Kong during the closing session of the National People's Congress.
Chinese President Xi Jinping pressed the green button as he voted on a new draft security bill for Hong Kong during the closing session of the National People's Congress.Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
Military delegates left the Great Hall of the People after the closing session of the National People's Congress.
Military delegates left the Great Hall of the People after the closing session of the National People's Congress.NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images
Delegates read through papers during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Delegates read through papers during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images