National security legislation conducive to Hong Kong’s long-term development: official

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CCTV+BATIE GHAR 巴铁之家:The national security legislation for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is of great significance to the long-term prosperity and stability of the region, leaving greater room for development under the “one country, two systems” principle, said Nip Tak-kuen, secretary for the Civil Service of HKSAR on Friday.

In an exclusive interview with China Central Television, Nip said that Hong Kong has experienced social unrest in the past year, which severely disrupted the rule of law in the region with an increasingly complex situation in regards to national security.

“We have seen that the situation in Hong Kong is indeed very severe. The legislative intent is to block loopholes within the legislation on national security at the national level to establish this legal system and enforcement mechanism. I think this is of great importance to long-term prosperity and stability for Hong Kong as well as the implementation of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” he said.

Nip said that the national security legislation actually targets a very small number of people who committed crimes to harm national security, while protecting the legitimate rights and freedoms of most people in the region.

“The national security legislation for Hong Kong targets four serious types of crimes. So, I believe that the principle and purpose of this law are very clear and will continue to protect the rights of residents in Hong Kong, such as the right of freedom of speech. And while they enjoy such rights, we also have to fulfill our responsibilities and obligations,” he said.

The Secretary for the Civil Service said that the national security legislation is actually an expression of love and care toward Hong Kong, and also a firm support for the “one country, two systems” principle.

“The central government firmly supports the implementation of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. It (the central government) will fully support the development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, whenever there is the need to promote economic growth and improve the people’s livelihood in the region. I believe that if the HKSAR guards the bottom line of national security and carry out its constitutional responsibility by handling the national security legislation for Hong Kong well, my experience is that the room for the development of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle will be broader,” Nip said.

On May 28, deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) attending the closing meeting of its third annual session voted overwhelmingly to approve the NPC Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security.

The move came after prolonged social unrest and escalating street violence had plunged Hong Kong into the gravest situation since its return to the motherland in 1997.

With the approval of the NPC decision, the national security legislation for Hong Kong is expected to be enacted soon.

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