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2020/07/02

National People's Congress of China Adopted

The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

On June 30, 2020, the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, adopted the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) (hereinafter referred to as the Law)and listed the Law in Annex III to the HKSAR Basic Law. The Law came into force in Hong Kong at 11:00 p.m. local time on June 30th, 2020 upon its promulgation by the HKSAR government in the gazette.

The Law clarifies the duties and norms governing the government bodies of the HKSAR for safeguarding national security and claims clearly the preventing, suppressing and imposing punishment for the four categories of criminal behaviors that undermine national security, namely secession, subversion, organisation and perpetration of terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security in relation to the HKSAR. The Law stipulates the establishment of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR and defines its relations with the HKSAR government.

The Law ensures the resolute, full and faithful implementation of the policy of "one country, two systems" under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy. It makes clear that in safeguarding national security in the HKSAR, human rights shall be respected and protected. The rights and freedoms, including the freedoms of speech, of the press, of publication, of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration, which the residents of the Region enjoy under the Basic Law of the HKSAR and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong, shall be protected in accordance with law.

Ever since the amendment bill disturbance in 2019, social unrest in Hong Kong has been persistent, street violence has kept escalating, the "Hong Kong independence" and radical separatist forces have become increasingly rampant and foreign forces have blatantly ramped up interference in Hong Kong affairs. It is under such circumstances that the NPC formulated and adopted the Law, which is a fundamental solution for Hong Kong to restore order, end chaos and resume stability. It is a landmark in the practice of "one country, two systems" and a strong institutional guarantee for upholding national sovereignty, security and development interests, safeguarding lasting security, prosperity and stability in Hong Kong, and ensuring the steady implementation of "one country, two systems".

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs and no foreign country has any right to interfere with it. It is in China's sovereignty and the Central Government's responsibility to make laws to safeguard national security in HKSAR. Some countries use the so-called "democracy, freedom and human rights" to make arrogant and baseless comments and accusations on China's legitimate action. Such behaviors constitute blatant interference into China's internal affairs and completely violate the basic norms of international relations, to which China firmly opposes.

The implementation of the Law will strengthen Hong Kong's legal framework, ensure social order, improve business environment, and benefit Hong Kong citizens and international investors.

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