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Hong Kong has completed the enactment of Article 23 of the Basic Law to ensure the prosperity of governance and prosperity with a high level of security

Time2024-03-29     AuthoradminReserved   FromXinhua News Agency   Read

On March 19, the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) unanimously passed the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance (hereinafter referred to as the "National Security Ordinance"). Nearly 27 years after the return to the motherland, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has successfully completed the enactment of Article 23 of the Basic Law, marking significant progress in fulfilling Hong Kong's constitutional responsibility to safeguard national security, making up for the shortcomings of the HKSAR's system and mechanism for safeguarding national security, and marking an important milestone in the development of the "one country, two systems" cause in the new era and new journey.

This is a photograph of the national flag of the People's Republic of China and the regional flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) outside the Legislative Council Complex of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (taken on March 19, 2024). Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Chen Duo

The enactment of the National Security Ordinance has further provided an important institutional guarantee for Hong Kong's prosperity, stability and long-term peace and stability, and has also demonstrated the new atmosphere of patriotism and love for Hong Kong in the new stage of governance and prosperity. Looking forward to the future, with a higher level of security, Hong Kong will surely achieve higher-quality development and a higher level of opening up, the process of governing and rejuvenating will be further accelerated, and Hong Kong, a shining pearl, will surely bloom with even more brilliant brilliance.

New progress in fulfilling constitutional responsibilities

The main body of the National Security Ordinance consists of nine parts, namely "Introduction", "Treason, etc.", "Rebellion, incitement, rebellion, defection, and acts with seditious intent", "Offences related to state secrets and espionage activities", "Sabotage activities endangering national security, etc.", "Organizations that interfere with and engage in activities endangering national security from abroad", "Law enforcement powers and litigation procedures related to safeguarding national security", "Mechanisms for safeguarding national security and related safeguards" and "relevant amendments".

This is the cityscape of Hong Kong (photo taken on January 14, 2024). Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Chen Duo

The Hong Kong National Security Regulations crack down on a very small number of lawbreakers and criminals who endanger national security, and protect the human rights and freedoms of the vast majority of people. The content of the regulations is clear, clearly defining the elements of crimes, clearly distinguishing between crimes and non-crimes, and stipulating the principles of legality and presumption of innocence. Law enforcement agencies must exercise their powers in accordance with the requirements of the law, follow strict procedures and be subject to judicial scrutiny. These provisions fully protect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the public in accordance with the law.

"The constitutional responsibility and historic mission of Article 23 of the Basic Law have finally been accomplished, and the Regulations on Safeguarding National Security have been passed on the third reading, effectively safeguarding national security. After the ordinance was voted on the 19th, Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive John Lee said in the Legislative Council.

Tourists visit Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, March 19, 2024. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Chen Duo

Article 23 is the constitutional responsibility of the HKSAR and is a "must-answer question" for the Hong Kong society. Article 23 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region stipulates that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact legislation on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion of the Central People's Government and theft of state secrets, prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from carrying out political activities in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.

Article 23 legislation is of practical necessity and urgency. The tragic lessons of rampant "Hong Kong independence", rampant "gang violence" and rampant "speculation" in the 2019 "turmoil over the legislative amendment" are vividly vivid, and the Hong Kong society is deeply aware that the national security risks facing Hong Kong are serious, real and may come suddenly.

"The successful completion of Article 23 of the legislation marks significant progress in the HKSAR's fulfilment of its constitutional responsibility to safeguard national security. In the view of Leung Mei-fun, a member of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, this is a high-level legislation, and the public consultation is scientific and orderly, high-quality and efficient, fully listening to the opinions of all sectors of society, and actively responding. The bill proposed by the HKSAR Government is lenient and appropriate, and is a good law that strikes a balance between safeguarding national security and safeguarding human rights and freedom, as well as economic development. The deliberation of the bill was in accordance with laws and regulations, rigorous and pragmatic, and was widely praised.

According to members of the legal profession, the Hong Kong National Security Ordinance and the Hong Kong National Security Law are organically linked, and jointly build a solid shield for the SAR to safeguard national security, which is conducive to safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability, safeguarding the fundamental well-being of all Hong Kong residents, protecting the interests of investors from all over the world, and ensuring the steady and successful implementation of "one country, two systems".

Show a new atmosphere of patriotism and love for Hong Kong

Of the 13,489 comments, 13,297 expressed support and positive opinions, accounting for 98.58% of the total. The statistics of the opinions received during the public consultation period on the 23 pieces of legislation show the strong public opinion of the whole of Hong Kong in supporting the completion of the 23 pieces of legislation, and fully reflect the new atmosphere of patriotism and love for Hong Kong in the new stage of Hong Kong's transition from governance to prosperity.

The SAR Government has resolutely shouldered the heavy responsibility of "being a family member" and "the first person responsible", issued a consultation document of more than 80 pages, which introduced in detail the purpose, principles, methods and key points of the legislation, held nearly 30 consultation meetings, explained in detail the consultation document to all social strata, sectors and groups, and listened carefully to the opinions and suggestions of all parties. During the deliberation stage of the Legislative Council, officials of the HKSAR Government answered thousands of questions raised by Members in depth and detail, and gave specific and clear explanations on each provision, fully demonstrating their responsibility and scientific and professional spirit.

On 19 March 2024, the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) unanimously passed the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Lu Xiaowei

Since the HKSAR Government introduced its annual legislative agenda to the Legislative Council on 12 January, which includes legislation on Article 23 of the Basic Law, various sectors of Hong Kong community have continued to express their support for the speedy completion of this legislation.

From all non-official members of the Executive Council, all members of the Legislative Council to all district councillors, from major political groups to major local associations, from major chambers of commerce to major professional groups, representatives and representative organizations covering all strata, sectors and groups in Hong Kong have warmly expressed their voices in one sentence: Article 23 legislation must be enacted as soon as possible!

"Each of us feels that time is running out because we are aware that the national security risks to Hong Kong have always been real. Liao Changjiang, chairman of the Bills Committee on Safeguarding National Security of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said that only by building a dam to safeguard national security as soon as possible can Hong Kong not become an exposure to external hostile forces endangering national security.

Representatives of Hong Kong's industrial and commercial circles said that the 23-point legislation must be completed as soon as possible, and that "one day sooner the day will be obtained," "one day will be more stable than the day," and "one day will be prosperous one day sooner." "Only by effectively eliminating uncertainties in the field of national security can we effectively consolidate and enhance Hong Kong's business environment and better attract industrial and commercial enterprises and investors to set up businesses in Hong Kong. In the view of Lu Jinrong, president of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the 23 pieces of legislation have cleared the roadblock for the development of Hong Kong and relieved the worries.

For Hong Kong citizen Chan Wing-hing, the 23-point legislation brings peace of mind. "Beautiful Hong Kong has been destroyed, everyone's lives and property are threatened, and the whole city is in a miasma, which we don't want to see anymore. "Lives in San Po Kong, Kowloon, and cherishes his stable and stable life. "Previously, the Hong Kong National Security Law gave me hope for Hong Kong, and now, the 23-point legislation has made me more confident in Hong Kong's tomorrow.

Write a new chapter in "one country, two systems".

"As an expatriate in Hong Kong, my background gives me a better position to show the world what is really going on: Hong Kong society is now more peaceful and attractive. Andreon, a Swiss financial consultant living in Hong Kong, said that the 23 pieces of legislation will only more effectively crack down on a very small number of malicious sabotage forces in society, and law-abiding people will not be affected at all.

Only national security can ensure the security of Hong Kong, and only national security can make the family safe. Over the past three years since the enactment and implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law, Hong Kong has gone from chaos to order, the confidence index of Hong Kong citizens and the international community in Hong Kong has continued to rise, and international organizations have a positive assessment of Hong Kong's business environment. As John Lee said, under the protection of the Hong Kong National Security Law and the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong", Hong Kong's overall social stability, economic development is improving, the business environment is free and convenient, and Hong Kong's attractiveness continues unabated.

On 19 March 2024, the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) unanimously passed the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Lu Xiaowei

British Hong Kong Senior Counsel Frank Kong said that on the basis of the Hong Kong National Security Law, the Hong Kong National Security Ordinance will make up for the shortcomings of Hong Kong's existing local laws in protecting national security, and more comprehensively and effectively prevent, stop and punish acts that undermine national security. "I believe that everyone in the world who is fair-minded will recognise that the completion of Article 23 legislation will make Hong Kong a safer city, thereby enhancing Hong Kong's global reputation as an international business city.

"The successful completion of Article 23 legislation has enhanced the stability of Hong Kong society and the certainty of the rule of law. "This provides a safer and more stable environment for the long-term and orderly development of Hong Kong's I&T industry, and makes us more optimistic about Hong Kong's development prospects."

"As the Hong Kong National Security Ordinance fills the gap in safeguarding national security in Hong Kong, the risk of external forces in the United States and the West and anti-China forces destabilizing Hong Kong unscrupulously undermining Hong Kong's prosperity and stability and harming the interests and well-being of its citizens will be effectively curbed. Liu Zhaojia, consultant of the National Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said.

Casting a "vote of support" for Hong Kong's development has become the choice of more and more people. According to statistics from the HKSAR government, the number of Hong Kong-based companies with parent companies overseas or in the mainland reached 9,039 in 2023, an increase of 61 year-on-year, returning to the pre-pandemic high level, and data from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange showed that as of late February, as many as 75 listing applications were being processed, and most of them were unicorns in the fields of consumption, pharmaceuticals and artificial intelligence......

Hong Kong International Cultural Summit 2024, Art Basel Hong Kong 2024...... A number of top international summits and exhibitions will be held in Hong Kong, fully demonstrating the unique charm of this international metropolis to the world.

"We will effectively safeguard national security, so that Hong Kong can travel lightly without worries, focus on developing the economy, improving people's livelihood, and jointly create a more prosperous and better homeland." After the third reading of the "Regulations on Safeguarding National Security" was passed, Li Jiachao was full of confidence in the future.

"History will witness us writing a glorious chapter in the history of the HKSAR. He said.



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