A central government spokesperson on Tuesday expressed strong concern over the serious negative social impact of the ruling on the judicial review related to the anti-mask regulation by the High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
The Emergency Regulations Ordinance in force in Hong Kong was confirmed to be in accordance with the HKSAR Basic Law by the relevant decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) in February 1997 and adopted as a law of the HKSAR, said Yang Guang, spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
"This shows all the provisions of the ordinance are in accordance with the Basic Law," Yang said.
The HKSAR Chief Executive in Council invoked the power under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to put in place the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation, which was an exercise of the Chief Executive's functions in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the NPC Standing Committee, he noted.
"The regulation has played a positive role in curbing violence and chaos since its implementation," he added.
The Court of First Instance of the High Court of the HKSAR ruled that the provisions of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance which empower the Chief Executive to make related regulations under certain circumstances were inconsistent with the HKSAR Basic Law and that the main elements of the anti-mask regulation failed to meet the proportionality test.
"This is a blatant challenge to the authority of the NPC Standing Committee and to the power vested in the Chief Executive by law to govern. It will have serious negative social and political impact," said Yang, adding that the central government will closely follow the development of this case.
The spokesperson expressed the hope that the HKSAR government and the judiciary will perform their duties strictly in accordance with the HKSAR Basic Law and jointly shoulder the responsibility of ending violence and chaos and restoring order. (Updated)