Hong Kong's national security legislation to come into effect on Saturday

Hong Kong's new national security legislation will take effect on Saturday.

The legislation complements the Hong Kong National Security Law that was enforced in 2020.

The new legislation will prohibit acts that endanger national security, including theft of state secrets, espionage, incitement to mutiny and external interference. Violations could bring sentences of up to life imprisonment.

Hong Kong's Legislative Council, almost all of whose members are pro-Beijing, unanimously passed the national security bill with unusual haste on Tuesday.

The legislation punishes unlawful acquisition or disclosure of state secrets both in and outside Hong Kong with imprisonment from five to 10 years.

The legislation has broad provisions on state secrets. They cover information about the economic, social and technological development of mainland China and Hong Kong.

It is up to authorities to decide what specifically constitutes state secrets. This has caused concerns that information acquired in businesses can be determined as state secrets.

At least 17 Japanese nationals have been detained in mainland China since the country enacted anti-espionage legislation in 2014. Analysts are now focused on how the new legislation will be applied in Hong Kong.