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News Bulletin----National People's Congress of China Adopted "Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security"

On May 28, 2020, the Third Session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) of the People's Republic of China adopted the "Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to Safeguard National Security" (hereinafter referred to as the Decision).

Main points of the Decision include that the country will implement fully and faithfully the principles of "one country, two systems" and "the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong"; that the country resolutely opposes the interference in the HKSAR affairs by any foreign or external forces in any form; that it is the HKSAR's constitutional responsibilities to safeguard national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity; that the HKSAR must establish and improve the institutions and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security and that when needed, relevant national security organs of the Central People's Government will set up agencies in the HKSAR to fulfill relevant duties to safeguard national security in accordance with the law. The Decision also entrusts the NPC Standing Committee to formulate relevant laws on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security and include relevant laws into Annex III of the Basic Law of the HKSAR, then the HKSAR promulgates and implements them.

Over the past 23 years since China resumed its excise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, HKSAR national security laws are yet to materialize due to sabotage and obstruction by those trying to sow trouble in the HKSAR and China at large as well as external hostile forces. In recent years, the increasingly notable national security risks in the HKSAR have become a prominent problem. Rampant illegal activities such as "Hong Kong independence", splitting the country and violent terrorist activities seriously endanger China's national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity. Some foreign and external hostile forces openly interfere in Hong Kong affairs and use Hong Kong to engage in activities that jeopardize China's national security, which seriously challenged the bottom line of the "one country, two systems" principle, harmed the rule of law, and threatened national sovereignty, security and development interests. This is the reason why it brooks no delay to plug the loophole in the national security legislation for Hong Kong through national legislation.

The Decision adopted by the NPC is targeted at actions that jeopardize China's national security, such as splitting the country, subverting the government, committing terrorist activities and meddling in Hong Kong affairs. It has no impact on Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents or the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong.

The Decision makes it clear that China will unswervingly, fully and faithfully implement the principles of "One Country, Two Systems", "the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy. National security is the basis of "One Country, Two Systems". Only in a secure and stable society can the strengths of "One Country, Two Systems" be maximized and Hong Kong's long-term stability and prosperity be guaranteed. The adoption of the Decision will improve Hong Kong's legal system and bring more stability, stronger rule of law and a better business environment to Hong Kong. It will ensure the sound and sustained implementation of the basic principle of "One Country, Two Systems" and help achieve long-term stability in Hong Kong.

Nevertheless, the United States and the United Kingdom, for their own political purposes, have been making unwarranted comments on, interfering and obstructing the Decision, to which China strongly opposes.

The Central Government is responsible for upholding national security in China, as is the case in any other country. The Central Government holds the primary and ultimate responsibility for national security in all sub-national administrative regions. This is the basic theory and principle underpinning national sovereignty and a common practice in countries around the globe. As the highest-level legislature body in China, the NPC enjoys full authority to establish and improve the legal framework and enforcement mechanisms for Hong Kong to safeguard national security in accordance with the Chinese Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR. It is completely in conformity with the needs of safeguarding national security and is necessary and fully justified.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs and allow no external interference. Non-interference, as a basic norm governing international relations, must be observed by all countries. Any attempt to use Hong Kong to interfere in China's internal affairs is doomed to fail. (End of item)

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