Hong Kong public figures show their support for national security legislation
The national security legislation for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shows the central government's earnest care for the SAR's long-term interests, Hong Kong public figures said on Wednesday during a seminar to gather suggestions on the proposed legislation.
The seminar, attended by 39 representatives from various sectors, agreed that without proper systemic protection of national security, there will not be stability and prosperity for Hong Kong. Nor can its residents live a peaceful and contented life, they said.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, is drafting a national security law that criminalizes separatism, subversion, terrorism and conspiracy with external forces in Hong Kong.
Having listened to all the "very useful" suggestions made at the seminar, Zhang Yong, vice-chairman of the Basic Law Committee of the NPC Standing Committee, said the legislature will spare no efforts to complete the legislative work as soon as possible.
During the process, the NPC Standing Committee will take into consideration Hong Kong people's opinions, Zhang said.
The central government's liaison officials in the HKSAR also attended the meeting, arranged by the Hong Kong Coalition, a civil alliance newly founded by two of the city's former leaders, Tung Chee-hwa and Leung Chun-ying, in the hope of reviving Hong Kong's fortunes.
Also attending, Song Zhe, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, assured Hong Kong residents that the new law will only target "a very small group of people" involved in activities that endanger national security, while the rights and freedoms most are enjoying now will remain intact, as will foreign investors' rights.
He added that the legislation will take into account the differences between the two social systems and two legal systems of Hong Kong and the mainland.
"It's a prudent decision made by the central authorities, considering Hong Kong's status quo. The ultimate goal is to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as the successful practice of 'one country, two systems'," he said, reiterating the central government's strong resolve to press ahead with the legislation.
Only after China's national security is well protected can Hong Kong have a stable society with a favorable investment environment under the rule of law, and thus the benefits brought by the "one country, two systems" principle can be fully galvanized, Song stressed.
During the meeting, representatives from sectors including finance, law, education, youth and labor shared their thoughts about the proposed law.
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