Hong Kong's leader has defended China's new national security law blocking secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign interference in the city while accusing the US of a double standard. "For some countries that have had a high-profile response and claimed they will take action, I can only describe them as upholding double standards ... [They] value very much their own national security, but are biased in viewing ours," Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday, per the South China Morning Post, before singling out the US. She said local governments in the US were approaching anti-police protests from a very different position "compared to the stance [the US] adopted when almost the same riots happened in Hong Kong last year," per Reuters. President Trump had offered his support for pro-democracy protesters in the city.
On Monday, Trump promised to unleash an "overwhelming law enforcement presence" on US streets until the violence had ended. As protests over George Floyd's killing erupted in cities across the US over the weekend, Trump vowed to revoke Hong Kong's preferential treatment as a separate territory. This came days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concluded Hong Kong was "no longer autonomous" from mainland China. Protesters fear the new law will disrupt the "one country, two systems" framework in place since 1997, meaning a loss of freedoms. But Lam said the former British colony is facing increasing security issues and foreign pressure, with residents "living in fear," per the SCMP. While draft legislation isn't yet available, Lam said Beijing's assurances that the law will not affect autonomy and judicial independence are "very reassuring." (Read more Hong Kong stories.)