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Thursday, May 28, 2020, 15:59
NPC adopts decision on national security law for HK
By ​China Daily & Xinhua
Thursday, May 28, 2020, 15:59 By ​China Daily & Xinhua

The closing meeting of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress is held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 28, 2020. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

BEIJING - China is set to make Hong Kong national security laws as a decision to go ahead was adopted at the national legislature on Thursday.

The decision will also allow the central government's national security organs to set up agencies in Hong Kong when needed

Deputies to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) attending the closing meeting of its third annual session voted to approve the NPC Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security. 

The decision will also allow the central government's national security organs to set up agencies in Hong Kong when needed.

ALSO READ: National security legislation 'purely China's internal affair'

Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders attended the NPC's closing meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Presenting the draft to the national legislature last week, senior legislator Wang Chen said increasingly notable national security risks in Hong Kong have become a prominent problem.

There are apparent "weak links" in Hong Kong's existing legal system and enforcement mechanisms in safeguarding national security, said Wang, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee.

Considering Hong Kong's situation at present, efforts must be made at the state level to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security, he said.

The following are the highlights of the NPC decision on national security legislation for the HKSAR:

·         The country unswervingly, fully and faithfully implements the principles of "one country, two systems," "the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong," and a high degree of autonomy; takes necessary measures to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security, as well as prevent, stop and punish acts and activities endangering national security in accordance with the law.

·         The country resolutely opposes the interference in the HKSAR affairs by any foreign or external forces in any form and will take necessary countermeasures.

·         It is the HKSAR's constitutional duty to safeguard national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity. The HKSAR must complete the national security legislation stipulated in the Basic Law of the HKSAR at an earlier date and HKSAR's administrative, legislative and judicial organs must, in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, effectively prevent, stop and punish acts and activities endangering national security.

·         The HKSAR must establish and improve the institutions and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security. When needed, relevant national security organs of the central government will set up agencies in the HKSAR to fulfill relevant duties to safeguard national security in accordance with the law.

·         The HKSAR chief executive must regularly report to the central government on the HKSAR's performance of the duty to safeguard national security, carry out national security education and forbid acts and activities of endangering national security in accordance with the law.

·         The NPC Standing Committee is entrusted to formulate relevant laws on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security, in order to effectively prevent, stop and punish acts and activities to split the country, subvert state power, organize and carry out terrorist activities and other behaviors that seriously endanger national security, as well as activities of foreign and external forces to interfere in the affairs of the HKSAR. The NPC Standing Committee decides on including relevant laws into Annex III of the Basic Law of the HKSAR to be promulgated and implemented by the HKSAR locally.

·         The decision goes into effect as of the date of promulgation.

The decision fully embodies the aspirations of deputies to the NPC, a spokesperson of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee said Thursday.

The decision reflects the common will and fundamental interests of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, including Hong Kong compatriots 

Zang Tiewei spokesperson of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee

It also reflects the common will and fundamental interests of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, including Hong Kong compatriots, spokesperson Zang Tiewei said.

"The decision is of significant importance for upholding and improving the 'one country, two systems' institutional system, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability as well as protecting the legitimate rights and interests of Hong Kong compatriots," Zang said. 

He urged all state organs, localities and sectors, including the HKSAR, to earnestly implement the NPC decision, which is an important institutional arrangement for establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security.

During the just-concluded annual sessions of the national legislature and political advisory body, known as the "two sessions," many national lawmakers and political advisors proposed that the NPC Standing Committee formulate relevant laws for the HKSAR to safeguard national security in accordance with the NPC decision at an early date, advance relevant institutional building and ensure the effective implementation of relevant laws in the HKSAR, according to the spokesperson.

"We will next do a good job in relevant legislative work of the NPC Standing Committee, unswervingly implement the requirements and spirit of China's Constitution, the Basic Law of the HKSAR and the NPC decision, and ensure the steady and enduring growth of the cause of 'one country, two systems,'" he added.

The NPC move came after prolonged social unrest and escalating street violence had plunged Hong Kong into the gravest situation since its return to the motherland in 1997.

Hong Kong had witnessed rampant activities of "Hong Kong independence" organizations and violent radicals as well as blatant interference by external forces.

Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, delivered a speech at the closing meeting.

Also at the meeting, lawmakers adopted the Civil Code and approved resolutions on the government work report, and the work reports of the NPC Standing Committee, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate at the meeting.

They also passed resolutions on the national economic and social development plans, as well as on the central and local budgets.

READ MORE: HK leader vows support for legislation


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