The Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Friday evening spoke on an interpretation of the provisions in the Hong Kong national security law adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
The NPC Standing Committee on Friday adopted the interpretation of Article 14 and Article 47 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR. The interpretation was adopted at the 38th session of the 13th NPC.
A spokesperson for the office said that at the request of the State Council, the NPC Standing Committee explained the relevant provisions of the Hong Kong national security law, further clarifying the original intent of the legislation. It also clarified the status and responsibilities of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR and the chief executive of the HKSAR in handling national security issues, and resolved problems arising from the application of the law.
It is of great significance to the complete and accurate implementation of the Hong Kong national security law, the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson pointed out that Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, an instigator of Hong Kong riots, is suspected of "colluding with foreign or overseas forces to endanger national security." There were widespread concerns in Hong Kong that the participation of overseas lawyers or barristers who were not fully qualified to practice in Hong Kong may bring risks to the fair hearing of national security cases, and to the accurate implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong.
In this regard, the chief executive of the HKSAR put forward suggestions on the interpretation of the national security law in Hong Kong. The NPC Standing Committee interpreted it according to law, and it conformed to the provisions of the Constitution and the national security law in Hong Kong, the spokesperson said.
This demonstrates the central authorities' firm determination to govern Hong Kong in accordance with the law, uphold the unity of the central authorities' overall governance power and guarantee a high degree of autonomy in the HKSAR, effectively safeguard the authority of the national security law in Hong Kong, and further consolidate the constitutional order of the HKSAR as defined in the Constitution and the HKSAR Basic Law, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson stressed that the NPC Standing Committee's interpretation of the law has the same effect as the national security law in Hong Kong, and the HKSAR's executive, legislative and judicial bodies must abide by and implement it.
The interpretation further clarified that the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR has the power to make judgments and decisions on issues involving national security, and it clarified the HKSAR chief executive's right to identify relevant issues. It will help the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR and the chief executive of the HKSAR to fulfill their main responsibilities for safeguarding national security more effectively, and to establish and improve a long-term implementation mechanism for safeguarding national security in the HKSAR.
The Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR supports the HKSAR in fulfilling its duty of safeguarding national security in accordance with the law. The office supports the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR in implementing the spirit and requirements of the interpretation of the law by the NPC Standing Committee, effectively implementing the Hong Kong national security law and its interpretation, so as to ensure that national security is effectively safeguarded.
"We believe that all sectors of Hong Kong society will cherish the hard-won sound development situation in Hong Kong, fully and accurately implement the principle of 'one country, two systems,' firmly safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and maintain long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong," the spokesperson said.