Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, San Francisco
Hong Kong
National security law fully supported

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government fully supports the legislative work for safeguarding national security in the city.

Mrs. Lam made the statement in response to a report by Xinhua News Agency on June 20.

The report was on a summary of an explanatory statement by an official of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the 19th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC on June 18 on a draft law on safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR.

Mrs. Lam emphasized that it is the constitutional responsibility of the Hong Kong SAR to safeguard national security.

Taking into consideration the practical situation in Hong Kong, the enactment at the state level of legislation to safeguard national security in the Hong Kong SAR is a significant initiative by the central authorities at a critical moment to enhance the "one country, two systems" institutional system, ensuring the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

Mrs. Lam explained that the Hong Kong SAR Government fully supports this initiative and will fulfil its responsibility to ensure the effective implementation of the relevant law in the city.

Since the passage of the decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong SAR to safeguard national security by the third session of the 13th NPC on May 28, the Chief Executive and the relevant principal officials were arranged to be the first to express their views to the central leading group on Hong Kong and Macau work on June 3.

The Hong Kong SAR Government notes with appreciation that according to the summary of the explanatory statement of the draft law, the relevant parties had seriously studied the views reflected by the Hong Kong SAR Government, considered the actual situation of Hong Kong and enhanced the draft legislation through multiple reviews under the spirit of absorbing opinions as much as possible.

Mrs. Lam pointed out that in particular, the drafting process leverages follows and reflects an important principle, which is, taking into account the difference between the Mainland and Hong Kong and making every effort in ensuring the compatibility and complementarity of the national security law with the relevant national laws and local laws in the Hong Kong SAR.

She also noted that Article 4 of the decision specifies that the Hong Kong SAR must establish and improve institutions and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security to strengthen enforcement power and the enforcement work on national security.

The Hong Kong SAR Government agrees that, as proposed in the draft law, Hong Kong should establish a commission for safeguarding national security to be chaired by the Chief Executive as well as set up dedicated units in the Hong Kong Police Force and the Department of Justice which will shoulder the major responsibilities in implementing the relevant enforcement work. The Hong Kong SAR Government is undertaking the necessary preparatory work.

The statement outlined that the enactment of legislation for safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR is to prevent, curb and sanction four types of criminal acts, namely acts of secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities, and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security.

Mrs. Lam stressed that the legislation will only target an extremely small minority of people who have breached the law on those offences, while the life and property, basic rights and freedoms of the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents will be protected.

According to the summary of the explanatory statement, the draft law makes it clear that the law for safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR will follow a number of important principles in line with the rule of law including that convictions and sentencing of crimes, the presumption of innocence and protecting the rights of suspects should be well defined in the law.

It should also respect and protect the rights and freedoms which are applicable in Hong Kong under the Basic Law and relevant international covenants. These clear provisions should be able to allay public concerns.

Mrs. Lam emphasized that since the decision has been endorsed, relevant central authorities have repeatedly emphasized in public that the legislation will uphold the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy, and will not affect the capitalist system in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong SAR's legal system.

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