Hong Kong Police Issue First Arrest Under China's Controversial Security Law

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Police in Hong Kong said Wednesday that they issued their first arrest under the recently passed security law that critics say undermines the judicial independence of the semi-autonomous territory and gives China unprecedented power over the city.

The man was arrested for carrying a flag calling for Hong Kong's independence, the Associated Press reported. He was reportedly intercepted by police after a crowd in the city's Causeway Bay received warnings that they may be violating the new law. Hong Kong police also tweeted news of the arrest.

City police said they raised a "new purple warning flag" to warn protesters that chanting independence slogans "could have violated" the new law.

China passed the law on Tuesday that many in the Hong Kong media say will allow Beijing to crack down on any activity that the authorities consider subversive with secessionist goals.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke out against China's takeover in a statement shortly before reports of the bill's passage.

"If China wants to regain the trust of Hong Kongers and the international community, it must fulfill the promises it made to the people of Hong Kong and to the United Kingdom in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration registered at the UN," the statement read. from Pompeo.

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Bloomberg reported that earlier in the day, Chinese officials described the new law as a "Damocles sword" looming over the heads of Beijing's top critics in the city.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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