China’s Supreme People’s Court has ordered a two-month trial for a businessman for allegedly taking the sovereignty from the people.
The ruling came on Friday after a three-week hearing in the Central District Court in Beijing, where it is also expected to be delivered on Monday.
The court’s decision is likely to have broad implications for Chinese companies that have tried to get a foothold in Hong Kong, where China’s ruling Communist Party is seeking to regain control.
The court’s order came a day after Beijing launched a sweeping crackdown on “foreign interference” in Hongkong.
It banned news websites and other media, and blocked access to social media and the Internet for people outside mainland China.
It has also banned foreign investment, blocked the Internet, and closed schools, hospitals and universities.
China’s Communist Party has long tried to regain power in Hong kong after a pro-democracy uprising in 1997.
Beijing said the demonstrations were a result of an internal rebellion by a handful of hardline supporters of then-president Jiang Zemin, who took office in 1998.
A man holds a banner reading “I am Hong Kong’s first true patriot,” during a rally against Beijing in Hong Hangs, Guangdong province, April 25, 2017.
The government has since blamed a series of violent clashes that broke out in 2016 on a group calling itself “Guangzhou youth,” saying the unrest was sparked by a series, including the killing of a Hong Kong businessman by two men he accused of working for the Chinese mainland.
The United States has warned Beijing against meddling in Hong Kong, but Beijing has insisted the territory is a Chinese territory.
The Supreme People and Law Courts, which has jurisdiction over Hong Kong and Macau, has been accused of a pattern of judicial activism in recent years, which included cases that involved the killing or attempted murder of former Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
The Hong Kong court ruled that the killing was an “act of war” that had taken place “with the aim of provoking the people to a war of independence.”
It is a judgment that could lead to further legal action against the court, said Zhang Yonghui, a Hongkongs lawyers’ group, on Saturday.
“It is likely that the ruling will be appealed,” he said.