HONG KONG - Hong Kong policy researchers and media professionals on Friday voiced their support for the decision of the National People’s Congress to introduce a national security law for Hong Kong, saying that it is “constitutional and reasonable” and will benefit Hong Kong and its residents.
“It is not right for some people to deny the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s responsibility to safeguard national security, but it is even more wrong to deny the central government’s responsibility to safeguard national security,” said Song Sio-chong, a professor at the Research Center of Hong Kong and Macao Basic Law at Shenzhen University in Guangdong province.
In countries worldwide, national security is within the authority of the state, with mandatory cooperation of regional governments, Song said. He added that the United States — which has spearheaded the opposition to the legislation in the international community — is no exception.
Lau Lan-cheong, president of the Golden Mean Institute, a local think tank, said the decision to impose the national security law for Hong Kong was “constitutional, legal, fair and reasonable”.
Lau, a veteran commentator for Phoenix Television, said that affairs related to national security in Hong Kong fall within the sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China, and that the National People’s Congress, the nation’s top legislature, has the power to legislate on national security.
Henry Ho Kin-chung, founder and chairman of the One Country Two Systems Youth Forum, said institutional and legal differences exist between the mainland and Hong Kong SAR under the “one country, two systems” principle. These differences must benefit the country and the city, or they would not be allowed, Ho said.
It’s naive for some in the city to think national security is something that could be bargained over and compromised, Ho said.
However, the absence of a national security law is a loophole that harms the interests of the nation and those of the city, and this situation should be rectified, he added.
Kwok Yat-ming, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Journalists, endorsed the government’s efforts to set the record straight about the legislation to the public to allay concerns. The work would prevent the opposition camp from using the legislation to cause panic, as it did during last year’s protest movement.
The public in Hong Kong should be aware that the national security law will not undermine their rights and freedoms, but will benefit the city by ensuring the stability of Hong Kong and the safety of the people, Kwok said.
Lau, Ho and Kwok made their remarks at a seminar convened by local think tanks Insights Consultancy and Super Media Group.
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