Physically Hong Kong looks as it always did. But last Tuesday it changed irreversibly. The city was once proud of its distinct British-derived legal system, which guaranteed the rights of residents—and provided a solid foundation for its commercial glory. That is being swept away.
Despite predictions that Beijing would not be ready to enforce its new national security law in Hong Kong until the fall, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government rushed the legislation, announced just six weeks ago, through the National People’s Congress. The measure took effect at 11 p.m. local time on June 30, sight unseen by those now subject to its dictates.