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Saturday, July 04, 2020, 14:44
National security law requires better understanding
By Cao Yin
Saturday, July 04, 2020, 14:44 By Cao Yin

A senior legislator on Friday called for legal professionals across the country to closely study and accurately interpret the newly adopted National Security Law for Hong Kong to help create a solid foundation of public opinion regarding the law's implementation.

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While carrying out the law, legal professionals should stay vigilant against defamation and obstruction by those seeking to sow trouble in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, and resolutely oppose external interference.

"Attempts to obstruct the law's enforcement by making threats, taking containment measures or exerting pressure will never succeed," said Wang Chen, vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee and director of the China Law Society.

He was speaking at a seminar in Beijing that addressed the new law's implementation. The NPC Standing Committee, the country's top legislature, on Tuesday unanimously adopted the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The law has since been added to Annex III of Hong Kong's Basic Law and took effect immediately.

The law clearly defines the duty to safeguard national security in the HKSAR with four categories constituting offenses: secession, subversion, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign or external elements that endanger national security. The new legislation also details corresponding penalties for infractions.

Experts attending the seminar expressed full support for the law, and believe it's in full accord with the country's Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, according to an official release.

They agreed that the law has taken into full account the practical need to safeguard national security in Hong Kong, and it can effectively protect the legitimate rights of the city's residents.

ALSO READ: NPC adopts law on safeguarding national security in HK

"The law not only serves as a cornerstone for our national security, but also protects the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents," said Qi Yanping, a professor at Beijing Institute of Technology's School of Law. "We've all witnessed what happened in Hong Kong in recent years. Under such a chaotic situation, the basic human rights of local residents in Hong Kong could not be protected."

Chen Zexian, executive vice-chairman of the Criminal Law Research Committee at the China Law Society, said that the new legislation builds an enforcement system, involving both the central and HKSAR governments, to ensure it is carried out. It also clarifies the legal procedures through which the four categories of crimes will be dealt with in a timely and accurate fashion.

Experts at the seminar said the legislation is a major measure that helps implement the "one country, two systems" principle, a key turning point for the HKSAR's ability to transform crisis to opportunity and bring order out of chaos.

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