Q&As on National Security Legislation for Hong Kong SAR
驻挪威使馆
2020/05/29

Q1: What is "national security legislation for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)"?
A: On 28th May, China's top legislature adopted the decision on national security legislation for the HKSAR during the closing meeting of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing. After the decision is adopted, the NPC Standing Committee will work with related parties to formulate related laws to solve Hong Kong's problems in maintaining national security, strengthen the construction of specialized and law enforcement agencies and ensure the law to be effectively implemented in Hong Kong SAR.

 

Q2: Does the Central Government have the legitimacy in formulating these laws?
A: Yes. The Central Government is responsible for upholding national security, as is the case in any other country. Enacting national security legislation is an exercise of a nation's sovereignty. Through Article 23 of the Basic Law of the HKSAR, the Central Government authorizes the Hong Kong SAR to fulfill its constitutional duty by enacting laws on its own. The authorization, however, does not prevent the Central Government from developing a legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security in light of the actual situation and needs.
The NPC's decision is in keeping with China's Constitution, the Basic Law and the policy of "one country two systems".

 

Q3: Why does China decide to promote the national security legislation?
A: Hong Kong is part of China. 23 years after Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the city still hasn't fulfilled its constitutional obligation to safeguard national security and remains full of loopholes.
Since the turbulence over proposed legislative amendments last June, we have seen organizations and radical separatists openly called for gaining independence from the country. We've also seen escalated violence, terrorist activities, and excessive, unlawful foreign meddling in Hong Kong. All these have posed a grave threat to the functioning of Hong Kong's society, and placed national security in serious jeopardy.
Hong Kong should not be an "unguarded" city. To establish a legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong SAR has become a pressing priority, and we must get it done without any more delay.

 

Q4: Do Hong Kong residents generally oppose the national security legislation?
A: No. The most majority of Hong Kong people support "one country, two systems" and support a prosperous, stable, and peaceful Hong Kong. A small handful of traitors and "Hong Kong independence" extremists cannot speak for the public in Hong Kong.
On 24th May, a petition was launched in Hong Kong to support the national security legislation for the SAR, which has gathered signatures of more than 1.85 million people in just 5 days. The SAR Government, the chairman of the SAR's Legislative Council, the majority of the Council's members, and different sectors of the society have also expressed their strong support for the decision of the National People's Congress.

 

Q5: Will this be "the end the 'one country, two systems'" as some people claimed?
A: No. The original intention and mission of "one country, two systems" is to safeguard the sovereignty and national integrity of the country and the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. After the national security legislation in Hong Kong, the "one country, two systems" policy will not change. The current system in Hong Kong will not change. The high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong will not change. The SAR's legal system will not change.
The Macao Special Administrative Region of China, which is also China's "one country, two systems" region, completed its local legislation for the Law on Safeguarding National Security as early as 2009. It has proven to be a safeguard for Macao's prosperity and stability in economic and social development.

 

Q6: Will there be less freedom of speech in Hong Kong after the legislation?
A: No. The legislation will target only acts of secession, subverting state power and organizing and carrying out terrorist activities, as well as interference in the HKSAR's internal affairs by foreign or external forces. It means the small minority of serious offenders jeopardizing national security that will be punished. Hong Kong citizens' legal rights and freedoms will be better protected.
Freedom of speech, just like any other rights, has its limit and must be exercised within the bounds of the law. The Hong Kong citizens' rights and freedoms of speech, press, publication, or assembly enshrined in the law will not be prejudiced by the legislation, but will only be better protected in a safe environment. Last year, He Junyao, a pro-establishment lawmaker, was stabbed by a violent demonstrator. Chen Ziqian, a Hong Kong lawyer, was beaten by rioters on the street. Two TVB journalists were hit by petrol bombs thrown by rioters and got burned. A cameraman was confronted by rioters, who yelled at him to give them the camera if he doesn't want to die. It was not until he was forced to hand out two memory cards that they let him go. Lots of incidents and cases show that the freedom of speech has been compromised and endangered because the rioters are emboldened by the lack of national security legislation in Hong Kong SAR.

 

Q7: Will the legislation harm the development of the SAR's economy?
A: No. Chaos and disorder are the biggest obstacles to the development of Hong Kong's economy. The legislation is exactly for the purpose of stopping the chaos and rampant violence. It will provide a more steady social environment, a more sound legal environment, and a more stable and predictable business environment in Hong Kong. Only in this way can Hong Kong strengthen its status as an international financial, trading and shipping center. We should have more confidence in Hong Kong's future.

 

Q8: How does China view the concerns expressed by some countries on the issues related to Hong Kong SAR?
A: China has repeatedly stressed that both Hong Kong SAR affairs and national security issues are purely China's internal affairs. The international community does not need to worry or listen to certain countries or individuals who have ulterior motives. In response to the erroneous practices of external intervention, we will take the necessary countermeasures. The Chinese government is firm in its determination to safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, to implement the principle of "one country, two systems" and to oppose any external interference in Hong Kong affairs.

 

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