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Commentary: Building up a firewall for sustaining peace in Hong Kong

(Xinhua)    10:20, May 30, 2020

BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature approved on Thursday a decision to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security.

Such a move, which signifies the start of the process of national security legislation for the Chinese city at the national level, will help crack down on acts of secession, subversion and terrorism, reject external intervention in Hong Kong affairs, and build up a firewall for national security.

Hong Kong has seen too much violence and chaos these days. Black-clad rioters, backed by external interventionists, set fires across the city, vandalized public facilities, and clashed with police and residents. Those violent acts have undermined territorial security, political security and public security in Hong Kong, and seriously disturbed the normal implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle.

That situation warrants an urgent need for national security legislation for Hong Kong and the decision by the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) will have a far-reaching and positive significance, and has been widely supported by the Chinese people, including those patriotic Hong Kong residents.

For a long time, foreign forces have been using Hong Kong as a bridgehead to launch anti-China activities. Following the proposed ordinance amendments in June last year, separatists in Hong Kong have ramped up violent activities to disrupt public order, and external meddlers have scaled up their intervention.

Such interference went even further in November when Washington, against strong opposition from Beijing, signed the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 into law. That had further emboldened those Hong Kong separatists to seek support from and collude with overseas anti-China forces, severely undermining China's national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

The alarming security situation Hong Kong is facing has highlighted the city's legal loopholes concerning national security, and its lack of enforcement mechanisms.

Article 23 of its constitutional document, the Basic Law, stipulates that the HKSAR shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition and subversion against the central government. However, the HKSAR has failed to pass such legislation due to various reasons.

The critical national security situation in Hong Kong brooks no delay for the NPC, empowered by China's Constitution, to make national security legislation to better serve the interests of Hong Kong and China as a whole.

The freshly approved decision serves as an official warning and a wake-up call for those external forces and their followers to discard illusions of disrupting Hong Kong and thus harming China's national interests. For them, Hong Kong will no longer be a safe haven for their sabotage against China.

The national security legislation in Hong Kong will affect neither the high level of autonomy in the city and the rights and freedom enjoyed by Hong Kong residents, nor the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in this global financial hub.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Sunday at a press conference that the decision will bring more stability, stronger rule of law, and a better business environment to the financial hub.

It is not surprising that following the approval of the decision, some external forces will pressure, oppose and attack China over it, but China will remain rock-solid in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and interests.

History will prove that the firewall in the making will further promote the implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle, which will in turn make major contributions to stability, security and prosperity in Hong Kong and the whole China in the long run. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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