Photo taken on July 14, 2020 shows the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong. （Photo/Xinhua）
Prominent figures from Hong Kong's political and legal circles have expressed their support for the recent interpretation of the national security law for Hong Kong by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, saying that the clarification is significant for safeguarding national security in the special administrative region and will help the city adjudicate national security cases more impartially in the future.
On Friday, the NPCSC adopted an interpretation of articles 14 and 47 of the national security law, which clarifies the duties of the Committee for Safeguarding Security of the Hong Kong SAR and the chief executive, as well as the legal basis for handling new situations in regard to safeguarding national security in Hong Kong.
The interpretation came in response to a request by Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu for clarification on whether overseas lawyers who are not qualified to generally practice in the SAR can take part in national security cases.
A spokesman of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR said the NPCSC's interpretation demonstrated the central government's firm determination to administer the HKSAR in accordance with the law and further consolidated the SAR's constitutional order.
In its response, the city's judiciary said that it respects the lawful exercise of power by the NPCSC to make the interpretations. All lawmakers of the seventh Hong Kong Legislative Council issued a joint declaration welcoming the move.
Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, president of LegCo, said the NPCSC's clear explanation dispels unnecessary concerns about the city's legal system, and creates a more favorable business and investment environment for Hong Kong.
Tam Yiu-chung, a Hong Kong member of the NPCSC, said the interpretation will help prevent potential national security risks and alleviate concerns about foreign intervention in Hong Kong affairs. It is in the interests of the city and the nation, he added.
Victor Dawes, chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, believes that from the content of the interpretation, the NPCSC has adopted a method that best upholds the principle of "one country, two systems" to deal with the issue.
Non-official members of the city's Executive Council, an organ that assists the chief executive in policymaking, said they agreed with the complete necessity and legality of the NPCSC interpretation, adding that the move is conducive to further improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding the national security of the HKSAR.
Political parties, including the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions and the Liberal Party, also welcomed the interpretation.