A legal forum on national security law was held here Monday, when a number of legal experts reviewed the process of the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong and exchanged their views upon it.
The forum, entitled "National Security Law Legal Forum -- Security Brings Prosperity," was organized by the Department of Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government online and offline. It aimed at enhancing people's understanding of the national security law in Hong Kong.
The HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at the forum that the legislation and implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong is the major turning point in Hong Kong's transition from chaos to order.
She said over the year-long period before the implementation of the national security law, organizations advocating "Hong Kong independence" and "self-determination" blatantly challenged the authority of the Central authorities and the HKSAR government. Anti-China forces colluded with foreign or external forces to interfere into the affairs of China and the HKSAR, seriously endangering national security.
After the implementation of the law, stability has been restored in society, while human rights and freedoms enjoyed by the overwhelming majority of people are not affected. The rule of law and judicial independence in Hong Kong are as robust as ever and Hong Kong's status as an international financial center has not wavered at all, she said, adding that the HKSAR government will continue to strengthen and deepen the work on safeguarding national security so as to raise Hong Kong people's awareness of national security and the obligation to abide by the law.
Deng Zhonghua, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said that it is necessary, timely and effective to formulate and implement the national security law in Hong Kong to deal with the grim situation then in Hong Kong. The law fully implements the principle and spirit of "one country, two systems," safeguards national sovereign security and development interests, and maintains Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability.
He said, to fully and accurately implement the law, it is necessary to grasp the relationship between the law and local laws in Hong Kong, and enable its interaction with other relevant laws of the HKSAR. Both should be implemented as one.
Chen Dong, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said that the effective implementation of the law has improved the HKSAR's system for safeguarding national security and stabilized the society. He urged the public to firmly support the HKSAR to enforce the law strictly, defend national security resolutely, and safeguard social stability and interests as anti-China forces have not given up.
Zheng Yanxiong, director of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said that the Central authorities' determination to safeguard Hong Kong's national security is unshakable.
He said that since the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong, anti-China activities have been effectively cracked down, and the people have enjoyed stability and peace again. This has fully proven that the determination and good intentions of the Central authorities have been transformed into a powerful legal system to protect the well-being of Hong Kong people.
Liu Guangyuan, commissioner of the Chinese foreign ministry in the HKSAR, said that the national security law in Hong Kong guarantees the steady and far-reaching practice of "one country, two systems," and is a high-standard "model law" in line with international practice. It also plays an important role in preventing external forces from interfering in Hong Kong affairs, and protects the financial hub's prosperity and stability.
Zhang Yong, deputy head of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said that the life of law lies in its implementation, and so does the authority of law.
He said that relevant institutions should implement the national security law in Hong Kong under the guidance of the overall concept of national security and within the framework of the decision of the NPC on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security, and within the integration of the legal systems of the HKSAR.
Yang Wanming, vice president of China's Supreme People's Court, said that under "one country, two systems," the Central government and the HKSAR share the responsibility of safeguarding national security. The HKSAR handles most of the criminal cases endangering national security, and the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR and relevant state organs exercise jurisdiction over a very small number of criminal cases endangering national security only under specific circumstances.
When implementing the national security law in Hong Kong, relevant authorities in the mainland and Hong Kong should abide by the constitutional basis, accurately understand the legal provisions and spiritual essence, he added. Enditem