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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government supports the National People’s Congress’ (NPC) deliberation of the decision to establish and improve at the national level the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who is attending the opening ceremony of the third session of the 13th NPC in Beijing, issued the statement.

She said that given the increasingly serious situation the Hong Kong SAR is facing concerning national security and the difficulty of the city’s executive and legislative authorities to complete legislation for safeguarding national security in the foreseeable future, the Hong Kong SAR Government supports the NPC’s deliberation of the decision.

The decision optimises the HKSAR’s implementation of the system and mechanisms concerning national security under the Constitution and the Basic Law, the statement said, adding that it does not amend the Basic Law or replace or repeal Article 23 of the Basic Law, which stipulates that the HKSAR has constitutional responsibilities and legal obligations to enact laws on its own to prohibit acts that endanger national security.

The HKSAR still has the responsibility to complete legislation for Article 23 as soon as possible, Mrs Lam said.

The HKSAR Government noted that the decision only targets acts of secession, subverting state power and organising and carrying out terrorist activities, as well as activities interfering with the HKSAR’s internal affairs by foreign or external forces.

Mrs Lam said: “These are exactly the situations which the political and business sectors in Hong Kong and members of the public have been worrying about over the past year. The situations have prompted the public to have a deeper understanding of the importance of national security and urge the HKSAR Government to respond proactively.”

The violence associated with disturbances arising from the legislative exercise of the Fugitive Offenders Bill last June has been escalating and the emergence of various incidents involving explosives and firearms has posed the risk of terrorism, seriously jeopardising public safety, she explained.

During this period, organisations advocating Hong Kong independence and self-determination incited protesters, especially youngsters, to desecrate and burn the national flag openly, vandalise the national emblem and storm the Central People’s Government’s office in Hong Kong, and made plans to mobilise so-called international support to interfere with the city’s affairs.

“These acts smeared the implementation of ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong and challenged openly the authority of the Central Government and the HKSAR Government.

“Some of the political parties’ members proclaimed many times that they would paralyse the HKSAR Government. Some other people begged for foreign governments to interfere with Hong Kong’s affairs and even to impose sanctions on Hong Kong.

“This kind of behaviour has crossed the baseline of ‘one country’, sabotaging the relationship between the Central People’s Government and the HKSAR, threatening China’s sovereignty and national security and challenging the authority of the Central Authorities and the Basic Law.”

Mrs Lam said she deeply believes that the national law to be enacted by the NPC Standing Committee will seek to practically and effectively prevent and curb acts and activities that seriously undermine national security, as well as sanction those who undermine national security by advocating Hong Kong independence and resorting to violence.

“The decision and the enactment of the national law will be able to establish and improve the legal framework and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security. They will not affect the legitimate rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents under the law, or the independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication, exercised by the Judiciary in Hong Kong.”

After the passage of the decision, the HKSAR Government will fully co-operate with the NPC Standing Committee to complete the legislation as soon as possible to discharge its responsibility of safeguarding national security to ensure the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong under “one country, two systems”, she added.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News