Ambassador Huang Xilian Answers Questions on National security legislation for Hong Kong SAR

I. We took note that the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) has approved the Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to Safeguard National Security in late May. Why does the Chinese central government need to legislate directly on national security in Hong Kong?

Ambassador Huang: As we all know, national security is the very foundation for a country to survive and thrive, and enacting national security legislation is an exercise of a nation's sacrosanct sovereignty. Over the past years, the risks in safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)have been quite prominent: "Hong Kong Independence" organizations and local radical separatist forces are increasingly rampant, violent and terrorist activities are escalating, intervention by external forces is intensifying, and "Hong Kong Independence" and "Taiwan Independence" are colluding with each other. These criminal acts endangering national security that occurred in the HKSAR are serious violations of the bottom line of the principle of "one country, two systems" and serious deviations from the original intention of "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law.

The Central Government holds the primary responsibility for upholding the constitutional order in the HKSAR, and ensuring full and faithful implementation of "One Country, Two Systems"and the Basic Law. When national security is at peril and the HKSAR Government has difficulty enacting relevant laws on its own because of the forces inciting chaos in Hong Kong and China at large, the Central Government has to act decisively, and enact at the state level national security legislation for Hong Kong.

The law draft makes explicit stipulations on what constitutes four categories of criminal acts and their corresponding criminal responsibilities. These include acts of secession, subversion of state power, terrorist activities, and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security-which occur in the HKSAR and must be prevented, stopped and punished.

II. Will the national security law in Hong Kong affect "one country, two systems"? Will the law affect Hong Kong's status as an international metropolis and its economic ties with foreign countries? What acts and activities are covered in the national security law to be implemented in Hong Kong?

A:The NPC's decision is intended to set things right, plug the lethal loopholes in national security in Hong Kong, and reinforce the "One Country" foundation. It is to eradicate all potential obstacles, traps and threats impeding Hong Kong's development, ensure Hong Kong to fully leverage the benefits of "Two Systems" while adhering to the "One Country" basis, and uphold Hong Kong citizens' fundamental interests and extensive rights and freedoms enshrined in the law to the greatest extent possible.

National security legislation for Hong Kong will not change the "One Country, Two Systems" policy. It will not change the capitalist system or the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong. It will not change the legal system in the HKSAR. Nor will it affect the independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication, exercised by the judiciary in Hong Kong. Legislation will further improve the climate for exchanges and cooperation between Hong Kong and foreign countries, and protect the law-based operation of international businesses here.

It will also create a more law-based, reliable and stable business environment for foreign investors. Only when national security is safeguarded can "One Country, Two Systems"be fully, faithfully and smoothly implemented, can Hong Kong citizens have a sense of security and happiness, can Hong Kong enjoy greater stability and prosperity, and can the interests of all stakeholders, the international community included, be better protected.

III. On many recent occasions, senior officials of the Philippine government said that Hong Kong-related matters are China's internal affairs, other countries have no right to interfere, and the continued prosperity in Hong Kong will mean continued employment for Filipinos. What's your comments?

A: There are hundreds of thousands of Filipino expatriates working and living in Hong Kong, who are also beneficiaries of "one country, two systems" and Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. Recently, some senior Philippine government officials have made positive statements on Hong Kong's national security legislation, saying that Hong Kong's affairs are purely China's internal affairs and other countries have no right to interfere, China's exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong is conducive to maintaining the long-term peace and stability of Hong Kong, and they hope that Hong Kong will continue to maintain prosperity and stability and require that Philippine citizens in Hong Kong will abide by the Hong Kong National Security Law. We highly appreciate all these righteous statements, which also serve the interests of all the Filipinos.

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