June 30: Beijing’s national security law for Hong Kong takes effect just before midnight on the eve of the anniversary of its handover from British to Chinese rule on July 1.
July 1: Police arrest more than 300 people as protesters take to streets. Ten are arrested under the national security law. Britain promises to grant those in Hong Kong with British National Overseas (BNO) passports five years of limited stay to work or study as a pathway to citizenship.
July 2: The government says the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times” could constitute subversion.
July 3: The United Nations says it is “alarmed” at arrests in Hong Kong under the new law.
July 5: Hong Kong’s Education Bureau urges schools to review textbooks to make sure they do not violate the security law. The first person charged under the security law is denied bail.
July 8: A new national security office employing mainland agents is set up in a Hong Kong hotel. The protest anthem “Glory to Hong Kong” is banned in schools.
July 14: Beijing’s top representative office in Hong Kong warns that primary elections to select pro-democracy candidates for Legislative Council elections in September could violate the national security law.
July 15: U.S. president Donald Trump orders an end to Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law. Beijing warns Washington of retaliatory sanctions.
July 17: Taiwanese officials in Hong Kong are told their visas will not be renewed unless they sign a document supporting Beijing’s claim to Taiwan under its “one China” policy.
July 20: Britain announces it will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.
July 28: The University of Hong Kong (HKU) sacks veteran pro-democracy activist Benny Tai from his tenured position as an associate professor of law.
July 29: Police arrest four people under the security law, the first such detentions outside of street protests.
July 30: Hong Kong disqualifies a dozen pro-democracy candidates from running in the September election, citing reasons such as collusion with foreign forces and opposition to the new law.
July 31: Chief Executive Carrie Lam postpones the September election, citing a spike in coronavirus cases.
Aug. 7: The United States imposes sanctions on Luo Huining, the head of China’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Lam and other current and former officials Washington accuses of curtailing political freedoms in Hong Kong.
Aug. 10: Media tycoon Jimmy Lai is arrested under the national security law, and detained over suspected collusion with foreign forces.
Aug. 26: The Guangdong Coast Guard intercepts a boat and arrests 12 Hong Kong people they say were trying to flee to Taiwan.
Sept. 6: Police arrest almost 300 during demonstrations on the day of the postponed legislative elections.
Sept. 18: One of 14 foreign judges on Hong Kong’s highest court says he has resigned over the national security law.
Oct. 1: Carrie Lam hails the city’s return to stability at China National Day celebrations as riot police arrest dozens while patrolling the route of a banned anti-government march.
Nov. 9: The United States imposes sanctions on four more Chinese officials in Hong Kong’s governing and security establishment, citing their roles in implementing the national security law.
Nov. 10: Hong Kong says it is suspending extradition agreements and pacts on mutual legal assistance with the Netherlands and Ireland, weeks after both countries joined Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Finland in suspending extradition treaties with Hong Kong.
Nov. 11: Hong Kong expels four opposition members from its legislature shortly after Beijing passes a resolution allowing local authorities to expel legislators deemed a threat to national security or not holding allegiance to Hong Kong, without having to go through the courts.
Nov. 12: Remaining 15 opposition members of the 70-seat Legislative Council resign in protest.
Dec. 2: Prominent activist Joshua Wong, 24, jailed for more than 13 months over an unlawful anti-government rally in 2019.
Dec. 7-8: Sixteen activists arrested over July’s protest and a November university protest, police say.
Jan 6: More than 50 pro-democratic activists are arrested on suspicion of breaking the national security law. Arrests, related to organising an unofficial primary vote to select opposition candidates for legislative elections, include well-known democratic figures and former lawmakers.
Jan 15: Hong Kong’s 180,000 civil servants are told they have four weeks to sign a document pledging their loyalty to the Chinese-ruled city’s mini-constitution and dedication to the government. Six more Hong Kong or Chinese officials are sanctioned by the United States after mass arrests over the pro-democracy primaries.
Jan 29: Hong Kong announces that BNO passports would no longer be recognised as a valid travel document starting Jan 31.
Feb 5: The Education Bureau releases guidelines for schools on national security, saying students as young as 6 must learn about subversion and colluding with foreign forces.
Feb 16: Jimmy Lai is arrested on charges he helped Andy Li, one of the 12 activists captured by China at sea.
Feb 19: A government review of public broadcaster RTHK finds “deficiencies” in editorial management, signalling a major overhaul of the revered institution and raising concerns over media freedom.
Feb 26: The Chinese University of Hong Kong withdraws its recognition of its student union, which it accuses of “political propaganda.”
Feb 28: Forty-seven of those arrested in January over the primary vote are charged with conspiracy to commit subversion.
March 1: After marathon hearings and some defendants falling ill, most of the 47 are denied bail.
March 11: China’s parliament approves changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system, reducing democratic representation in the legislature.
March 13: G7 expresses “grave concerns” over electoral changes in Hong Kong.
March 22: Eight of the 12 people arrested by China at sea in August 2020 arrive back in the city after serving their sentence in Shenzhen for illegal border crossing and are immediately detained on charges related to the 2019 protests.
March 24: Activist Andy Li is charged with “conspiracy to commit collusion” with a foreign country, two days after his release from a Shenzhen prison.
March 30: China finalises an overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system to ensure “patriots” rule the city-state.
April 8: Activist Nathan Law says he has been granted political asylum in Britain.
April 13: Carrie Lam announces further changes to the electoral system, including redrawing of geographical constituencies and criminalising calls for blank protest ballots.
April 15: Authorities mark National Security Education Day with school activities, games and shows, and a parade by police and other services. Beijing’s top representative in the city Luo Huining vows to “give a lesson to all foreign forces which intend to use Hong Kong as a pawn.”
April 16: Tycoon Jimmy Lai is sentenced to 14 months in prison, while nine other activists receive jail time or suspended sentences for taking part in unauthorised assemblies on Aug. 18 and Aug. 31, 2019.
April 28: Lawmakers pass an immigration bill that lawyers, diplomats and rights groups warn gives authorities unlimited power to ban residents and others from entering and leaving Hong Kong.
May 6: Activist Joshua Wong given a further 10 months in jail for participating in an unauthorised assembly on June 4, 2020, to commemorate the 1989 crackdown on protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
May 14: The Security Bureau freezes Jimmy Lai’s assets, citing national security reasons.
May 20: A court denies a jury trial to the first person charged under the national security law.
May 21: Oath-taking with allegiance extends to staff of non-civil service contractors.
May 27: The Legislature passes an electoral overhaul. Hong Kong police cite coronavirus restrictions to ban for a second year the annual vigil commemorating the Tiananmen crackdown.
May 28: Jimmy Lai is given a new prison sentence of 14 months over his role in an unauthorised assembly on Oct. 1, 2019. Part of the new sentence will be served consecutively, meaning Lai’s sentences so far add up to 20 months. Nine other defendants were sentenced to up to 18 months.
May 31: The 47 activists are back in court.