Visitors read at a booth displaying the books on the national security law of Hong Kong at the 33rd Hong Kong Book Fair in the Wan Chai area of Hong Kong on July 19, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
Women leaders in Hong Kong said on Friday that implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, which has restored stability and prosperity following a period of social unrest, shows that the rule of law is a cornerstone of the city’s continuous development.
Hong Kong, with the advantages it enjoys in connectivity and professional services, can participate in national-level development strategies, such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, to tap more business opportunities and make new contributions to the country’s high-quality development, they said.
The NSL, which was implemented on June 30, 2020, has brought the city from chaos to stability, and enables members of the Hong Kong community to focus on developing the economy and improving people’s livelihoods
They made their remarks at a luncheon in celebration of the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which falls on Oct 1.
The luncheon, attended by women representatives of the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, the Chinese mainland, and other countries and regions, was organized by women leaders of Hong Kong industry and business.
Maisy Ho Chiu-ha, head of the event’s organizing body, said in her welcome speech that she is proud of the continuous improvements the country has made in the economy and in raising people’s living standards over recent decades.
She also said that the NSL, which was implemented on June 30, 2020, has brought the city from chaos to stability, and enables members of the Hong Kong community to focus on developing the economy and improving people’s livelihoods. It fully demonstrates that the rule of law is essential for boosting economic and social development, Ho continued.
Ho added that the country’s rapid development and the “dual circulation” paradigm enables Hong Kong to play a vital role in national-level strategies, including the BRI and the GBA, and make a greater contribution to the nation’s high-quality development.
The luncheon also invited Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, convener of the Executive Council and a member of the Legislative Council, to share her thoughts about the development of Hong Kong’s rule of law since the city’s return to the motherland, and the relationship between Hong Kong’s laws and those of the mainland.
Ip said that the central authorities had made extensive reference to the views of the Hong Kong community and incorporated elements of the common law system during the legislative process of the NSL, ensuring that the law is compatible with Hong Kong’s legal system.
She emphasized that no matter what views some Western countries might hold of the NSL, in previous national security cases, the judges had made fair and appropriate rulings in accordance with the provisions of the NSL and common law provisions, demonstrating to the world that Hong Kong retains judicial independence.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Ip said the BRI offers Hong Kong’s legal professionals a larger market to tap into, and she believes the development of the GBA will enhance personnel and economic exchanges between Hong Kong and the mainland.
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