The National People’s Congress(NPC) of China approved Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security, which has been warmly supported by the Chinese people, Hong Kong compatriots included. More than 3 million Hong Kong people during 8 days signed their names in support of the Decision.
National security is a national priority. No country sits back and watches its territory remains “undefended” for a long time. The National Security Legislation strengthens Hong Kong residents’ awareness of and responsibility for national security, is the fundamental and long-term policies to effectively safeguard national security and maintain the long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. In recent years, activities that endanger national security have become increasingly serious in Hong Kong, and external forces have got their hands deeper in Hong Kong affairs, seriously challenging the bottom line of the “one country, two systems” principle, seriously affecting China’s national security and development interests, and seriously undermining the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents and Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. In the turbulence over the amendment bill since last year, Hong Kong independence elements and perpetrators of violence have run rampant, abetting, inciting and enticing young students to participate in illegal and criminal activities endangering national security and serving as their political fuel. Acts of violence and terrorism have escalated. Some external forces have been intervening more and more in Hong Kong affairs to support the turbulence, which has seriously damaged China’s national sovereignty, security and dignity.
The national security law belongs to the legislative power of all countries in the world, unitary and federal alike. All rights and freedoms have limits and must be exercised within the limits prescribed by law. Rights and obligations are relative, and no one has the absolute rights not to perform their obligations. To safeguard national security is an essential part of the one country, two systems principle. The Basic Law of Hong Kong not only grants Hong Kong residents more extensive rights and freedoms, but also clearly stipulates their responsibilities and obligations to safeguard national security, which is the prerequisite for respecting and protecting human rights. Without national security, there will be neither lasting peace and stability for China nor long-term prosperity and stability for Hong Kong. Only when national security is guaranteed can Hong Kong enjoy long-term prosperity and stability.The purpose of maintaining National Security Legislation in Hong Kong is to effectively prevent, deter and punish the few illegal and criminal acts that endanger national security. This will make the rule of law in Hong Kong more sound and the society more stable, so as to better protect the lives, property, rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents.
Safeguarding national security is the prerequisite for a country’s survival and development, and the most core and basic requirement for safeguarding national sovereignty. It is an internal affair of China for the Chinese government to take necessary measures to safeguard national security in the HKSAR in accordance with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law of Hong Kong. It conforms to China’s consistent policy towards Hong Kong and no foreign country has the right to interfere. The Chinese government is firmly determined to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, to implement the principle of one country, two systems and to oppose any foreign meddling in Hong Kong affairs. Only when laws are fully implemented and enforced can we effectively prevent, deter and punish acts and activities endangering national security, such as splitting the country, subverting state power, organizing and carrying out terrorist activities, and intervening in Hong Kong affairs by external forces, so as to provide a solid institutional and legal guarantee for Hong Kong’s social prosperity and stability.
Safeguarding national security is consistent with protecting the interests of foreign investors. China’s NPC and its Standing Committee to approve the National Security Legislation in HKSARS, will help to restore the order in Hong Kong, maintain the stability and a good business environment in Hong Kong, consolidate and enhance Hong Kong’s international financial, trade and shipping center status, further enhance the confidence of foreign investors in Hong Kong. Since its return to the motherland, Hong Kong has enjoyed fiscal independence, free trade, self-issued currency and free flow of capital. Its status as a free port and a separate customs territory has been safeguarded and consolidated. The legislation on Hong Kong National Security is targeted at a narrow category of acts that seriously jeopardize national security. The capitalist system, the high degree of autonomy and the legal system in Hong Kong will stay unchanged and be upheld unswervingly, and the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors will continue to be effectively protected. We oppose the attempts of some countries to impose so-called sanctions on Hong Kong, which violates international law and basic norms governing international relations. We hope that they will pay more attention to Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.
We are very confident that with the concerted efforts of the HKSAR government and Hong Kong people and the strong backing of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, Hong Kong will enjoy even greater development and stability and a better tomorrow.
By Qin Jian, Chinese Ambassador to Somalia