HONG KONG — The United States is warning citizens of the risk of arbitrary “police and security power” in Hong Kong and urging Americans to reconsider travel to the city now that the Chinese government has imposed a sweeping security law there.
The advisory, which was posted on the State Department’s website on Monday, is unlikely to have much of an immediate effect on travel, as entry into Hong Kong is already tightly restricted by coronavirus control measures. But it could further fray ties between the United States and China.
The State Department advisory warned that the security law, which came into force in June, could subject Americans who have been publicly critical of China “to a heightened risk of arrest, detention, expulsion, or prosecution.”
The security law targets what it deems acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign elements, but critics say the broad wording also gives the authorities wide-ranging powers to target voices of dissent. Dozens of people in Hong Kong have already been arrested under the law, including Jimmy Lai, a prominent pro-democracy media tycoon.