The National Security Law Lays Cornerstones for the Long-term Stability and Prosperity in Hong Kong SAR
Chinese Ambassador Yan Xiusheng to Barbados Published a Signed Article in Local Media Regarding the National Security Legislation in Hong Kong SAR
29 July 2020
On June 30, 2020, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was adopted at the 20th session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee. And the NPC Standing Committee formulated this law and listed it in Annex III to the Hong Kong SAR Basic Law which has been gazetted and enacted in Hong Kong by the SAR government. This is a fundamental solution for Hong Kong to restore order, end chaos and resume stability. It is a landmark in the practice of “one country, two systems”.
Hong Kong is among the most familiar Chinese cities to the Bajans. It presents a unique contrast between historical richness and vivacious modernity, a romantic fusion of the East and the West, with its classic trams roaming the streets and noisy, bustling restaurants. To our regret, since the turbulence over proposed legislative amendments last year, Hong Kong has witnessed and experienced continuous social unrest, escalating street violence, and rampant “Hong Kong independence” rhetoric and actions, and blatant external interference in Hong Kong’s affairs, which has grossly trampled on China’s sovereignty, security and development interests. As a result, the city has lost the title of the world’s freest economy it had held for 25 years. Its GDP registered negative growth for the first time in a decade, and the unemployment rate hit a record high in nearly 10 years. Those who truly care about and love Hong Kong do not want to see such situation to continue there.
The central government bears the most important and the ultimate responsibility for safeguarding national security. Establishing and improving at the state level a legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong SAR is a major measure to stay committed to and improve the “one country, two systems” framework, and a fundamental way to preserve Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.
The newly-established law addresses the most imminent risks to national security in Hong Kong, targets the four categories of crimes including secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security. At the same time, the law upholds the principle of the rule of law, respects human rights and protects Hong Kong people’s legitimate rights and freedoms, including the right of free expression, press and publication, assembly, procession as well as demonstration.
The legislation for Hong Kong SAR will not change the “one country, two systems” principle. It will not change the capitalist system or the high degree of autonomy practiced in Hong Kong. It will not change the legal system in the Hong Kong. Nor will it affect the Hong Kong’s executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication. We can say that, the security law will serve as a “sharp sword” hanging over a tiny number of criminals endangering national security. But for the vast majority of Hong Kong residents, including foreigners in Hong Kong, the law is the “guardian” of their rights, freedoms and peaceful life.
In the legislative process, the China’s central authorities and relevant departments had solicited through various means and channels for opinions and suggestions from all sectors of Hong Kong, including principal leading officials of the Hong Kong SAR government, legal experts in Hong Kong, Hong Kong deputies to the NPC and Hong Kong members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative National Committee, and also opened online and offline channels through Hong Kong social organizations to listen to the views of various sectors of the Hong Kong community and take the fair suggestions, so as to ensure that the legislative process conforms to Hong Kong’s overwhelming opinion, in a well-conceived and democratic way and in accordance with law.
The national security law for Hong Kong is firmly supported by the mainstream public opinion in the SAR and the international community. Nearly three million people in Hong Kong have signed a petition in support of the enactment of the law. Representatives from, among others, the political, legal, business, financial, educational, scientific, cultural, religious, youth and labor sectors as well as social and local organizations in Hong Kong candidly expressed their opinions and support for the legislation. At the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council held late June, more than 70 countries voiced their support for China’s national security legislation for Hong Kong and urged certain countries to immediately stop interfering China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Hong Kong. Standard and Poor’s (S&P), an international credit rating agency, recently released a report, saying that with the national security law for Hong Kong coming into effect, the autonomy of the Hong Kong government in formulating economic policies in accordance with the Basic Law will not be affected. S&P has affirmed its AA+ issuer credit ratings on Hong Kong and maintained the outlook stable. The above fact shows international financial sector’s confidence in Hong Kong’s future.
With the implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong, the city will usher in a new historical opportunity to end chaos, resume stability and return to normal, and the “one country, two systems” will embrace a long-term and steady development. We are convinced that its implementation will strengthen Hong Kong’s legal framework, ensure social order, improve business environment, and benefit Hong Kong residents and international community including Barbados. We have every confidence in the even brighter prospects of Hong Kong.