The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China has passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, that many fear will shatter political freedom in the semi-autonomous area, and allow the CCP to exert its control there. 

Just prior to Beijing passing the new security law that, according to Hong Kong media, will allow the CCP to clamp down on any protesters, the CCP threatened to restrict American visas.

China’s top legislative body passed a law that is set to criminalize secession, subversion, terrorism, and foreign interference in Hong Kong.

Tam Yiu-Chung, Hong Kong’s sole representative to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, confirmed to reporters Tuesday, June 30, that the law had been passed. “We hope the law will serve as a deterrent to prevent people from stirring up trouble,” Tam said in the interview. “Don’t let Hong Kong be used as a tool to split the country.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on the issue in a statement. “If China wants to regain the trust of Hong Kongers and the international community, it should honor the promises it made to the Hong Kong people and to the United Kingdom in the U.N.-registered 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration,” he said.

The Trump administration has warned over the past weeks if the security law was passed, action would be taken to end special U.S. trade and commercial preferences Hong Kong has been privileged to since going back to Chinese rule in 1997, reported Fox News.

“We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China,” Pompeo said earlier. “We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People’s Liberation Army, whose primary purpose is to uphold the dictatorship of the [ruling Communist Party] by any means necessary.”

Hours after the law was passed, the Hong Kong pro-democracy group Demosisto announced on Facebook that it respects the decisions of leading members Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Agnes Chow, and Jeffrey Ngo, who decided to step down soon after the law was passed, reported HKFP Hong Kong Free Press.

“Demosisto believes it will be difficult for the group to maintain its current operation … members should use more flexible means to join in protests,” the group wrote on Facebook. “[We] now announce to disband immediately on this day and suspend all committee affairs.”

Announcing his resignation earlier, Wong said everyone needed to secure their safety, as lengthy jail sentences and extradition to the mainland had become a reality, “no one could be sure [what would happen] tomorrow,” he said.

“I believe at this moment, there are countless pairs of eyes in the world caring about Hong Kong, and gazing at my personal situation under the national security legislation. I will continue to defend my home—Hong Kong—until they silence, obliterate me from this piece of land,” Wong wrote.