National Security Law Better Guarantees Prosperity and Stability in Hong Kong

2020-07-01 03:49     Comment:0

Shen Beili

Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the Macao SAR

Commissioner Shen Beili – Photo courtesy Office of FM Commissioner in MSAR 

The Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress adopted the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) at its 20th session yesterday. The enactment of the Law is a truly special and vital gift for the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland.

The National Security Law for Hong Kong has sufficient legal basis: the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the Basic Law of the HKSAR and the Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal Systems and Implementation Mechanisms for Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region adopted by the National People’s Congress. The current situation makes it imperative to improve, at the state level, the risk prevention and control mechanism and the practice of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong.

The National Security Law for Hong Kong will change the “defenseless” status of the region in terms of national security. The Law requires the HKSAR to establish a local national security commission, which will better coordinate resources and leverage the strength of an executive-led government so as to prevent, forestall and punish acts and activities that seriously jeopardize national security. At the same time, a commissioner’s office of national security affairs will be set up in Hong Kong by the central government to make sure the law is fully and faithfully implemented.

The National Security Law for Hong Kong does not affect Hong Kong’s independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication. It is the Chief Executive who shall designate a team of judges suitable for criminal cases that jeopardize national security rather than choosing a judge to preside over a specific case. The designation is conducive to the consistency and professionalism of the hearing and adjudication of such cases. Such stipulation reflects respect for judicial system of the HKSAR.

The National Security Law for Hong Kong will better protect the lawful rights and interests of the vast majority of Hong Kong residents. It fully protects the freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law and human rights. It targets only acts of secession, subverting state power and organizing and carrying out terrorist activities that seriously jeopardize national security as well as interference in the HKSAR affairs by external forces. For the majority of law-abiding residents and foreigners in Hong Kong who love the city, there is no need to worry that their normal contacts with the outside might be unfavorably impacted.

The National Security Law for Hong Kong offers Hong Kong a way out of the current dilemma. The most pressing issue for Hong Kong now is the lack of a mechanism that can effectively forestall acts and activities that endanger national security. The legislation at the state level provides institutional guarantee for the city to enjoy enduring stability and its residents to live and work in contentment. Only when the national security is safeguarded, can the Hong Kong people be engaged in a joint endeavor to solve the fundamental problems of the society.

As for Macao, its National Security Law was enacted in 2009 and a commission headed by the Chief Executive was set up in 2018. Over the years, the Macao SAR government has made great efforts in improving relevant institutions and enhancing its residents’ awareness of the issue. Facts speak loud that the implementation of the Law didn’t hinder social development or hamper people’s freedom and rights in Macao. Macao is attracting increasing numbers of visitors and enjoying more frequent exchanges with other countries and regions.

Safeguarding national security is the fundamental right of any sovereign country. Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong and the Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. China is firmly opposed to the unwarranted comments and wanton criticisms on the legislation by some American and Western politicians and the US’s move toward negative bills regarding Hong Kong, which is a grave violation of international law and basic norms of international relations. The Chinese government is firmly determined to uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests, implement “one country, two systems” and oppose external interference in Hong Kong.

Over the past year, rational Hong Kong residents have long become fed up with social unrest. The National Security Law for Hong Kong shows hope for getting rid of the chaos. To safeguard national security and to improve the practice of “one country, two systems” is the common aspiration of the Chinese people, including the Hong Kong residents. We believe that with the guarantee of the Law, Hong Kong, the “Pearl of the Orient”, will shine bright as before.

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