The central government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong vowed on Tuesday to firmly support the enforcement of the city’s national security law, which criminalizes acts that endanger the country.
The remarks came shortly after the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC), the nation’s top legislature, passed the law and added it into Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law.
The law, which prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or external forces, took effect late Tuesday.
In a statement published online, a spokesperson of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said that all Chinese people can celebrate the fact that Hong Kong has a law to guarantee its long-term stability.
The office pledged to resolutely support related agencies of the SAR government and the central government in their efforts to enforce the law, for the sake of the national interest and most Hong Kong people’s benefit.
According to the law, the central government will establish a national security agency in Hong Kong to facilitate the law enforcement. The SAR’s police force and the Department of Justice will also set up designated units to handle issues related to national security.
When drafting the law, the NPCSC widely collected suggestions from Hong Kong society. In addition to talking to officials and political figures, the NPCSC also consulted legal experts and representatives from other sectors, the spokesperson said.
The central authorities have held 12 seminars in Hong Kong to discuss the issue. More than 130 written suggestions from the city’s national legislators and political advisers were submitted to the NPCSC.
The law is well-designed to plug Hong Kong’s loophole in safeguarding national security, the office said. It also strikes a balance between safeguarding national interests and protecting local people’s legitimate rights.
A significant improvement to the “one country, two systems” framework, the law has opened a new chapter of the principle’s implementation in Hong Kong, the office said.
The spokesperson believes that with proper education, most Hong Kong people will abide by the law, considering the city’s fine tradition of respecting the rule of law.
The spokesperson also pointed out that the central government has anticipated possible obstacles in enforcing the law and made preparations.
No one should underestimate the central government’s resolution to safeguard national security, the national security law’s legal effect, and related agencies’ law enforcement capabilities, the spokesperson said.
The Commissioner’s Office of the Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR also welcomed the law, saying Hong Kong will become more prosperous and stable under the protection of the new law, which will bring benefits to local residents and also the international community. The office also said any attempts to obstruct the law’s implementation will be opposed by all Chinese people. It urged the international community to join the efforts to help build a better Hong Kong.
In another statement, the central government’s Liaison Office in the Macao SAR said the law’s passage reflected the State’s resolution to implement the “one country, two systems” principle in the SARs and to reject external intervention.
The move is expected to beef up Macao’s confidence in protecting national security and strengthen the two SARs’ collaboration in law enforcement, the office said.
Macao enacted its national security law in 2009 according to Article 23 of its own Basic Law.
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