National Security Law for Hong Kong ensures Institutional Guarantee for Prosperity: China
BEIJING, Jul 1 (APP): China on Wednesday said that the national security law for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will provide a strong institutional guarantee and ensure long-term prosperity and stability and reiterated that the new law is entirely China’s internal affair that allows no foreign interference.
“The legislation is an important step to fully uphold and improve the institutional framework of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and safeguard the long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong”, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing held here.
Chinese lawmakers of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the top legislature in China, voted unanimously on Tuesday to adopt the national security law for the HKSAR, a “resolute” effort taken by the central government that will make secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with foreign forces illegal. The law took effect at 23:00 local time on the same day.
The law was passed unanimously at the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature.
President Xi Jinping signed a presidential order to promulgate the law, which goes into effect on the date of promulgation.
With 66 articles in six chapters, the law clearly defines the duties and government bodies of the HKSAR for safeguarding national security and four categories of offences — secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security — and their corresponding penalties.
According to the law, the central government will set up an office in the HKSAR for safeguarding national security.
The HKSAR will establish a committee for safeguarding national security, which is under the supervision of and accountable to the central government.
To be chaired by the HKSAR chief executive, the committee shall have a national security adviser designated by the central government. The Hong Kong police force will also set up a department for safeguarding national security, according to the law.
After the law was passed, the NPC Standing Committee consulted its HKSAR Basic Law Committee and the HKSAR government, and adopted on Tuesday afternoon, by a unanimous vote, a decision to list the law in Annex III to the HKSAR Basic Law.
The newly-adopted decision stipulates that the law shall be applied locally in the HKSAR by way of promulgation by the region.
The law came into force in Hong Kong at 11:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday upon its promulgation by the HKSAR government in the gazette.
Zhao said, it is a corrective action to tackle the unrest in the HKSAR as well as to protect national sovereignty and security.
Stressing that Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs, the spokesperson warned some Western countries not to underestimate China’s determination in defending its national security and interest and urged them to stop interfering with the matter immediately.
The spokesperson informed that over 52 countries had made a joint statement at the council to “support China’s policy on Hong Kong.”
A representative of Cuba read the joint statement at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council held on late Tuesday. The statement said that “In any country, the legislative power on national security issues rests with the State, which in essence is not a human rights issue,” stating that “every country has the right to safeguard its national security through legislation and commend relevant steps taken for this purpose.”
“We urge those countries that intend to politicize the legislation work to treat the issue properly and stop using Hong Kong affairs as an excuse to interfere in China’s internal affairs”, said Zhao.
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