SINGAPORE (May 28): It has been a tense week for Hong Kong. Civil unrest has re-emerged following the proposed passage of a controversial National Security Law by the Chinese central government. This has prompted the US to deem the territory no longer “autonomous” from the mainland, potentially threatening the special trade status it enjoys with the US amid growing US-China great power conflict. 

The latest move in a prolonged tussle between Beijing and Hong Kong over the latter’s autonomy within the “one country, two systems” framework, the legislation -- announced at the 2020 session of China’s National People’s Congress -- broadly seeks to criminalise “treason”, “secession”, “subversion”, “terrorism” and “foreign interference” in Hong Kong. Such legislation is aimed squarely at the widespread protests that have rocked the city since last year, which Beijing believes is the product of "foreign interference". 

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