Safeguarding national security is constitutional obligation of Hong Kong SAR

2021-06-27 Editor:Liu Yimeng

Photo taken on Aug 5, 2019 shows China's national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong. (Photo/Xinhua)

June 30 marks the first anniversary of the national security law in Hong Kong coming into effect. As part of the People's Republic of China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is obliged to complete national security legislation according to the Basic Law, the constitutional document for Hong Kong. Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulates that the HKSAR "shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government".

The same article empowers the HKSAR legislature to enact a law on safeguarding national security. That's also a duty because only with national security ensured can people live in security and prosperity, a fundamental right to every citizen.

When the HKSAR legislature, or the Legislative Council, was troubled by certain foreign-backed political forces and unable to fulfill that legislative obligation, the National People's Congress, the Chinese legislature, needed to legislate the Law of China on Safeguarding National Security in HKSAR. But the HKSAR still needs to make a law for specific legal provisions. That's why the NPC Standing Committee passed the National Security Law in June 2020.

A look at the world will reveal that almost every country has national security legislation. In the U.S. where politicians point fingers at the national security law in Hong Kong, there are over 20 laws concerning national security, including the 1947 National Security Act, 1996 Economic Espionage Act, 2002 Homeland Security Act, 2007 Protect America Act. The 18 U.S. Code Chapter 115 listed penalties for treason, rebellion, insurrection, and advocating overthrow of government.

Any allegation against the national security law in Hong Kong is indeed unreasonable.

Hong Kong has seen an economic revival as the GDP growth rate reached 7.9 percent in the first quarter of 2021, social order resumed as riots totally disappeared, and control of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to joint efforts of the government and the residents.

One year after the national security law came into effect, Hong Kong is enjoying security and prosperity again. The Hong Kong SAR government has honored its duty of ensuring security and prosperity to its people, and the national security law plays an essential, irreplaceable role in that process.

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