Facts and Truth about the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region--Press Release by the Chinese Consulate General in Belfast

On 30 June 2020, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress adopted the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), which goes into effect on the date of promulgation.

It is not surprising that the National Security Law for the HKSAR has been warmly welcomed by the Hong Kong residents. Nearly three million Hong Kong citizens have signed the petition in support of the Law and more than 70 countries in the world have voiced their support.

National security is the basis and precondition for prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. Article 23 of the Hong Kong’s Basic Law authorizes the HKSAR to enact laws on safeguarding national security. However, since Hong Kong’s return in 1997, nothing has been done and there is no legal framework or enforcement mechanism in terms of national security in the HKSAR because of obstruction of the anti-China forces seeking to disrupt Hong Kong. Since the turbulence over the proposed amendment bill in June last year, these forces have openly clamoured for “Hong Kong independence”. They have taken actions such as beating, smashing, looting, arson. Such activities trampled on rule of law and put national security at serious risk. The situation has been distressing for the people of Hong Kong. They cried for the chaos to end quickly and order to be restored. In light of such a situation, establishing at the national level a sound legal framework and enforcement mechanism for safeguarding national security in the HKSAR meets people’s aspiration and is completely reasonable and legal.

The National Security Law is a milestone in consolidating and improving “One Country, Two Systems”. “One Country” is the precondition and basis for “Two Systems”, only when “One Country” is safe then the secure of “Two Systems” can be safeguarded. The Law was enacted to safeguard the authority of “One Country” for the purpose of upholding and improving, rather than changing the “One Country, Two Systems”. This law is not only in line with “One Country, Two Systems”, it also ensures the sustained implementation of this policy.

The National Security Law does not impair the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by the HKSAR and the rights and freedom of the Hong Kong people. It does not alter the current capitalist system in Hong Kong. It does not change the legal system in the SAR. And it does not affect Hong Kong’s administrative, legislative or independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication.

This Law clearly stipulates, “Human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the HKSAR. The rights and freedoms, including the freedoms of speech, of the press, of publication, of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration, which the residents of the Region enjoy under the Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the provisions of the related international covenants, shall be protected in accordance with the law.”

This Law outlined four types of criminal activities against Hong Kong that jeopardize national security. They are: secession, subversion, terrorist activities and collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security. The Law targets a very few criminals but protects the great majority of Hong Kong people.

According to the National Security Law, the Chinese Central Government established the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in HKSAR. The office analyzes and assesses developments related to safeguarding national security in the HKSAR, provides opinions and makes proposals on major strategies and important policies, and oversees, guides, coordinates with and supports the HKSAR in assuming the duties for safeguarding national security. The office also collects and analyzes intelligence and information about national security and handles cases on offenses endangering national security.

The HKSAR Government established the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of HKSAR as required by the National Security Law. The duties of the Committee shall be analyzing and assessing developments in relation to safeguarding national security in the HKSAR, making work plans and formulating policies for safeguarding national security in the HKSAR, advancing the development of the legal system and enforcement mechanisms of the HKSAR for safeguarding national security, and coordinating major work and significant operations for safeguarding national security in the HKSAR.

In the mean time, the following facts about the National Security Law need to be clarified:

First, this Law is aimed to protect the lawful interests of foreign citizens and businesses in the HKSAR. The turbulence of last year has wreaked havoc for Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s business environment deteriorated, its international rating was downgraded and the confidence of international investor was shaken. The National Security Law will address the concerns of the business communities, local or otherwise, over the chaos and terror caused by violent activities. It will protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of foreign citizens and investors. It will provide safeguard for the lawful operations and travels by businesses from all countries. It will foster an environment with more well-rounded legal safeguards as well as stable and reliable expectations.

Second, the National Security Law will maintain the social security and political stability of the HKSAR as an international city and business hub. The Law will help Hong Kong restore social stability and return the economy to the right direction, and will enhance Hong Kong’s economic strength and competitiveness as an international financial and commercial center. Hong Kong’s unique advantages and its status as an international financial center will not weaken and shake, but will become more stable in the future.

Third, regarding the BNO, UK disregarded China's solemn position and sought a policy change which will offer a route for a certain group of people to remain and apply for citizenship in the UK, seriously violating its own commitment, and China is firmly opposed to this. The international community has noticed that after the promulgation of the National Security Law, Hong Kong society has responded well and the market has responded positively. Most Hong Kong citizens are happy to accept interviews and express their strong confidence for Hong Kong’s future.

We believe that under the strong protection of the National Security Law, Hong Kong’s role as an international financial center, and a hub for trade, shipping and aviation will remain unchanged, Hong Kong’s role as an important bridge connecting China and the rest of the world as China continues to open up to the world will remain unchanged, Hong Kong’s role as an important bond for China-UK cooperation in economic, trade and financial areas within the next ten years will remain unchanged, and the 'Oriental Pearl' will shine even brighter!