The chief executive, police chief and other leaders in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Friday threw their weight behind the proposed national security legislation. They said the legislation will effectively prevent and contain activities that endanger national security, and restore the city’s stability and prosperity.
The endorsements poured in as the National People’s Congress on Thursday passed a decision to establish and improve Hong Kong’s legal system and enforcement mechanisms on safeguarding national security.
During a signature campaign in Hong Kong launched on May 24 by the United Front Supporting National Security Legislation, over 2.14 million people signed their names in support of the legislation as of 6 pm Friday. This included over 983,000 people signing online, and over 1.16 million people signing their names at streetside booths across the city.
The legislation aims to enable Hong Kong society to find a way out of the impasse, restore stability as soon as possible and resume development of the economy and people’s livelihoods
Carrie Lam, HKSAR Chief Executive
On Friday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuetngor wrote an open letter to all Hong Kong residents to appeal for their full understanding, and to staunchly support the decision passed by NPC.
In the letter, Lam said rioters’ escalating violence and intensified foreign interference reflect a gaping hole in Hong Kong’s national security situation, and put the city’s prosperity and stability at risk.
The legislation aims to enable Hong Kong society to find a way out of the impasse, restore stability as soon as possible and resume development of the economy and people’s livelihoods, Lam said.
She stressed that the legislation will only target an extremely small minority of illegal and criminal activities, while the life and property, basic rights and freedoms of the overwhelming majority of citizens will be protected.
In a statement, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said it will resolutely support Lam and her administration in performing duties related to safeguarding national security and cooperating with the NPC Standing Committee in order to complete the legislation as soon as possible.
A spokesperson for the office said the legislation provides necessary institutional guarantees for the SAR’s longterm prosperity and stability under the “one country, two systems” principle, while reiterating the central government’s unswerving determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.
In an interview with China Central Television broadcast on Friday, Hong Kong’s Commissioner of Police Chris Tang Pingkeung said the legislation can effectively prevent and contain activities that endanger national security, such as terrorism, sabotage and forces advocating “Hong Kong independence”.
It will help restore social order and make Hong Kong a safer and more stable city, Tang said.
The police will maintain close communication with government departments and relevant institutions in the SAR to ensure the accurate and effective implementation of the legislation to safeguard national security, he added.
In a seminar themed “National security and Hong Kong’s prosperity” in Hong Kong on Friday, Song Siochong, professor at the Research Center of Hong Kong and Macao Basic Law at Shenzhen University in Guangdong province, said that national security in all countries across the world is within the authority of the state, along with assistance from local governments.
Any remarks that don’t recognize HKSAR’s duty to safeguard national security, or deny the central government’s role in it, are incorrect, Song said.
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