HKSAR gov't firmly rejects US consul-general's remarks on national security law

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 7, 2020
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A spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government firmly rejected recent public remarks made by the Consul General of the United States of America to Hong Kong on The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR.

Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR government Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, joined by Secretary for Security of the HKSAR government John Lee Ka-chiu, met with the U.S. consul-general Hanscom Smith on Monday to register the HKSAR government's grave concern over the matter.

The spokesman said, "National security is a matter within the purview of the central authorities. In a unitary or federal state, legislation on national security is invariably carried out by the central authorities rather than local governments.

"As the highest organ of state power in China, the National People's Congress has the constitutional power and the duty to enact national security legislation for the HKSAR. The national law enacted has taken into account Hong Kong's actual situation."

The spokesman stressed that the implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle in the HKSAR is entirely an internal matter of China. No other state or legislature has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, in such internal affairs.

"The national security law seeks to prevent, suppress and impose punishment for four types of acts and activities that seriously endanger national security," said the spokesman.

It targets an extremely small minority of people without adversely affecting the basic rights and freedoms legitimately enjoyed by Hong Kong people, the spokesman added.

It is an important step towards improving the "one country, two systems" institutional system and represents an essential and timely decision for restoring stability in Hong Kong, said the spokesman, adding that the law will not affect the high degree of autonomy, judicial independence and the rule of law in Hong Kong.

Social unrest, the failure of the rule of law and a lack of protection for corporate assets and personal safety are genuine factors that would undermine investors' confidence, the spokesman noted.

"As a matter of fact, these were the factors that led to the fall of Hong Kong's international rankings in the past year. The U.S. has its own national security legislation, but we have never heard that such legislation affected the economic development and business environment of the U.S."

The national security law can promptly reverse the chaotic situation of the past year and restore stability in Hong Kong, and it thereby would improve Hong Kong's business and investment environment, said the spokesman.

"We strongly believe that only with national security safeguarded, can Hong Kong enjoy long-term stability and security," said the spokesman.

The spokesman said the legislation will be conducive to Hong Kong continuously improving its strengths, attracting overseas talents and strengthening its status as an international financial center as well as a shipping and trading hub, in addition to giving impetus to promoting the development of innovation and technology.

"Our much-valued institutional strengths and core competitiveness will also remain intact. They include the rule of law and judicial independence, open and flexible markets, a simple and low tax regime, an efficient public sector and a favorable business environment with a level playing field."

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