Law ‘timely and necessary’

  • AseanPlus News
  • Saturday, 23 May 2020

All stand: President Xi Jinping and officials at the opening of the National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. — Reuters

HONG KONG: National legislators reviewing the draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanism for Hong Kong at a state level is “very timely, necessary and important”, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council said.

The decision will help lay a solid institutional foundation for the “one country, two systems” principle, considering the severe situation faced by the Hong Kong government in maintaining national security in recent years, the spokesman said in a statement.

The National People’s Congress will deliberate the decision during the annual session that started yesterday.

If passed, it will authorise the Standing Committee of the NPC to formulate relevant laws.

The spokesman said the new law only targets those activities that attempt to split the country, subvert the state’s power, organise terrorist attacks and activities of foreign and external forces to interfere in the affairs of the HKSAR.

It will not affect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents, the spokesman said.

The spokesman emphasised the “one country, two systems” principle, the capitalist economic system implemented in Hong Kong, the high degree of autonomy and the local legal system will not change, and the interest of foreign investors in Hong Kong will continue to be protected.

Since the unrest triggered by the extradition Bill in June last year, separatist forces have clamoured for “Hong Kong independence” with the support of foreign and “Taiwan independence” forces and committed violent crimes of a terroristic nature, the spokesman said.

As an administrative region under the central government, Hong Kong has the constitutional responsibility to prevent and punish any acts that endanger national security.

Article 23 of the Basic Law of the HKSAR stipulates the HKSAR shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organisations or bodies from conducting political activities in the HKSAR and to prohibit political organisations or bodies of the HKSAR from establishing ties with foreign political organisations.

However, relevant laws are yet to materialise since Hong Kong returned to the motherland, revealing many loopholes in work related to institutional settings and power allocation and making the region under a state of “non-defence” that is rare in the world, the spokesman said. — China Daily/ANN

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