HONG KONG - Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Tuesday that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's government welcomed the passage of law on safeguarding national security in the HKSAR.
The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was passed earlier Tuesday at the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.
In view of the increasingly pronounced national security risks faced by the HKSAR, the enactment of a national security law at the state level is both necessary and urgent in order to plug the loophole in national security in Hong Kong.
Carrie Lam, HKSAR Chief Executive
The HKSAR government welcomes the passage of the law by the NPC Standing Committee, Lam said in a statement released in the evening, adding that this national law has been listed in Annex III to the HKSAR Basic Law.
Lam said in view of the increasingly pronounced national security risks faced by the HKSAR, the enactment of a national security law at the state level is both necessary and urgent in order to plug the loophole in national security in Hong Kong.
Hailing the legislation, Lam said the HKSAR government will complete the necessary procedure for publication by gazette as soon as possible to enable the implementation of the law in Hong Kong in tandem.
The HKSAR government's justice chief and security chief also welcomed the passage of the law.
In a separate statement, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah said the law provides clear rules and legal basis for preventing, curbing and punishing those who breach the law to endanger national security, and is conducive to safeguarding national security.
She said she would continue to lead the Department of Justice to provide full support for and discharge the responsibility of safeguarding national security in the HKSAR.
In a statement issued by Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu together with the heads of six disciplined services departments, Lee said he would lead the disciplinary forces to fully discharge their due responsibilities to implement the National Security Law.
"The law's enactment helps Hong Kong restore stability and put the economy back on track, allowing Hong Kong to ride out the difficult times and safeguarding its long-term prosperity and stability," according to the statement.
The six heads of disciplined services departments are Commissioner of Police Tang Ping-keung, Commissioner of Customs and Excise Hermes Tang Yi-hoi, Commissioner of Correctional Services Woo Ying-ming, Director of Fire Services Joseph Leung Wai-hung, Director of Immigration Au Ka-wang, and Controller of the Government Flying Service Wu Wai-hung.
Following is the full text of Lam's statement:
Safeguarding national security is the constitutional duty of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The HKSAR Government welcomes the passage of the National Security Law by the NPCSC today. This national law has been listed in Annex III of the Basic Law in accordance with Article 18 of the Basic Law after consulting the NPCSC's Committee for the Basic Law of the HKSAR and the HKSAR Government.
The HKSAR is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China and a local administrative region which enjoys a high degree of autonomy and comes directly under the Central People's Government. Safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests is the constitutional duty of the HKSAR and concerns every Hong Kong citizen. In view of the increasingly pronounced national security risks faced by the HKSAR, the enactment of a national security law at the state level is both necessary and urgent in order to plug the loophole in national security in Hong Kong. The legislation is an important step to improve the "one country, two systems" institutional system as well as restore stability in Hong Kong society as soon as possible.
"The Decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security" passed by the National People's Congress earlier clearly stipulated that the National Security Law listed in Annex III of the Basic Law will be applied by way of promulgation in the HKSAR. The National Security Law will come into effect later today. The HKSAR Government will complete the necessary procedure for publication by gazette as soon as possible to enable the implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong in tandem.
The National Security Law seeks to practically and effectively prevent, curb and punish four types of crimes seriously endangering national security, namely acts of secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities, and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security. It only targets an extremely small minority of offenders while the life and property as well as various legitimate basic rights and freedoms enjoyed by the overwhelming majority of citizens will be protected.
The HKSAR Government will, in accordance with the requirement of the National Security Law, establish the Committee for Safeguarding National Security to be chaired by the Chief Executive as soon as possible. Dedicated units in the Hong Kong Police Force and the Department of Justice will be responsible for implementing the relevant legal provisions in the National Security Law.
I express my heartfelt thanks to the NPCSC for gauging the views of the HKSAR Government and various sectors of the community in Hong Kong as well as taking on board Hong Kong's practical situation during the law drafting process. I am also encouraged by the overwhelming support of the members of the public. I am confident that after the implementation of the National Security Law, the social unrest which has troubled Hong Kong people for nearly a year will be eased and stability will be restored, thereby enabling Hong Kong to start anew, focus on economic development and improve people's livelihood.
HONG KONG NEWS