Chinese lawmakers Tuesday voted to adopt the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and list it in Annex III to the HKSAR Basic Law for its local promulgation and implementation.
The legislation, a milestone event, is a major move to improve the institutional framework of “one country, two systems” and to ensure its greater success in practice.
Since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland in 1997, the practice of “one country, two systems” has achieved a resounding success. But, in the meantime, disruptive forces in and outside Hong Kong have never stopped their activities to disrupt or sabotage “one country, two systems.”
This was more true during the unrest following proposed ordinance amendments last year, when words and deeds advocating “Hong Kong independence” went rampant, radical violence grew appalling, and the crime of terrorism became more apparent.
It was at such a grim and critical moment that the National People’s Congress adopted a major decision and its standing committee formulated this law under authorization.
The central government bears the primary and ultimate responsibility for safeguarding national security. It is entitled to and can exercise all necessary powers.
Pedestrians wearing face masks are seen at the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui of Hong Kong, south China, Feb. 23, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
Pedestrians wearing face masks are seen at the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui of Hong Kong, south China, Feb. 23, 2020.
The legislation has fully demonstrated the central government’s resolve and sincerity to act in strict accordance with the country’s Constitution and the Basic Law.
During the legislative process, utmost efforts were made to trust and rely on the HKSAR, protect human rights, take into account the features of Hong Kong’s common law system, and ensure the law’s effective enforcement.
The legislation is a major move to fully and faithfully implement the “one country, two systems” principle.
After the legislation is completed, the HKSAR will still enjoy a high degree of autonomy, independent judicial power and final adjudication. All these will not be changed.
Hong Kong will continue to be an international hub for finance, trade and shipping.
The central government has unwavering determination to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests; implement the “one country, two systems” principle; and oppose any external interference.
Under the leadership of the chief executive and the government of the HKSAR, people of all walks of life in Hong Kong should, in accordance with the decision made by the NPC and the law formulated by the NPC Standing Committee, support completing relevant legislation stipulated in Article 23 of the Basic Law as soon as possible.
Hong Kong people should further pool positive energy for opposing secession and violence, protecting the rule of law, and ensuring stability.
Joint efforts are needed to steer Hong Kong back to the right track and build it into a better place for its residents.
As Hong Kong is about to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of its return to the motherland, it is our sincere hope that the HKSAR will start anew, strive to overcome difficulties under the consistent and firm support of the central government, and set sail on a new journey of practicing “one country, two systems.”■