US diplomat in Hong Kong says security law use a ‘tragedy’

HONG KONG (AP) — The top American diplomat in Hong Kong says it’s a “tragedy” to use the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s new national security law to chip away at “fundamental freedoms” in the Asian financial hub and create an “atmosphere of coercion and self-censorship.” The U.S. consul general to Hong Kong and Macau says Hong Kong’s success has been because of its openness, and that the U.S. will do everything it can to maintain that. China last week implemented a tough new national security law for Hong Kong that outlaws secessionist, subversive and terrorist activity. Critics see it as Beijing’s boldest step yet to erase the legal firewall between the former British colony and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Party system.