Published: 00:34, May 23, 2020 | Updated: 02:02, June 6, 2023
'Imperative' for national security loopholes in HK to be plugged
By Li Bingcun

It’s imperative for the longstanding loopholes in Hong Kong concerning national security to be plugged, with the proposed national security legislation being drawn up for the city, the central government’s liaison office in the SAR stressed on Friday.

Closing such loopholes is also fundamental in ensuring the successful implementation of “one country, two systems”, said a spokesperson for the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

It’s the original mission of ‘one country, two systems’ to uphold national unity and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong, neither of which can be dispensable

spokesperson of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

The remarks came after a draft decision on establishing and improving the HKSAR’s legal system and enforcement mechanisms to better safeguard national security was tabled for deliberation at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress that began in Beijing on Friday.

In an online statement, the spokesperson noted that due to the obstruction of opposition camp, Hong Kong has failed to enact a national security law during the past 23 years since its return to the motherland as part of the city’s constitutional obligations.

The liaison office said such failure is rare in other parts of the world, adding it has made Hong Kong a weak link in safeguarding the nation’s security.

The Chinese mainland had enacted its national security law as early as 1993, while the Macao SAR passed a related law in 2009. Some foreign countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and France, also have laws regarding national security.

For the HKSAR, safeguarding national security is an integral part of the “one country, two systems” principle, the spokesperson said, calling it a “must” instead of a “choice”.

It’s the original mission of “one country, two systems” to uphold national unity and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong, neither of which can be dispensable, the spokesperson said. Hong Kong is facing the gravest situation since the handover, with the “one country, two systems” principle in danger of being derailed, the spokesperson said.

The absence of such legislation has been the major cause of the city’s current grave and complex situation in recent years, the spokesperson noted.

Following the unlawful “Occupy Central”movement in 2014, and the Mong Kok riots in 2016, Hong Kong experienced unprecedented havoc in last year’s incessant and often-violent protests, which quickly morphed into an anti-government campaign.

In the often-violent protests, radical protesters besieged the government headquarters, as well as buildings and complexes of Hong Kong-based central government bodies, trashed the local legislature, attacked police officers with lethal weapons, and extensively vandalized transport and road facilities.

The rampant street violence, which temporarily subsided during the COVID-19 pandemic, has resurged recently although the city is still facing threats from the pandemic and a recession-hit economy. 

The incessant protests showed some local activists are colluding with external anti-China forces in a bid to split Hong Kong from the country, the spokesperson noted. 

What they want is not democracy or institutional development, but to fundamentally destroy “one country, two systems”, the spokesperson pointed out. To foil such attempts, the central government is obliged to take resolute action to reinforce the SAR’s ability to safeguard national security, the spokesperson said, adding that achieving the goal with national legislation is imperative.

The draft decision has demonstrated the central government’s firm resolution in protecting national security, as well as its utmost care for the well-being of Hong Kong people, the spokesperson said.

The proposed legislation only targets actions that undermine national security, and will not affect Hong Kong people’s freedom of expression. The central government will strictly abide by the law in performing its duty in safeguarding national security, offering utmost protection for  people’s legitimate rights, the spokesperson added.