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Central gov't office for safeguarding national security protects HK security

By Guan Canghai (People's Daily Online)    14:54, July 09, 2020

The Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was inaugurated on July 8.

Officials at the inauguration of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR on Wednesday are ( from left ) the SAR's National Security Adviser Luo Huining, SAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, senior national political advisers Tung Chee-hwa and Leung Chun-ying, and the director of the office, Zheng Yanxiong. [ Photo/Xinhua ]

The national security commission in the HKSAR, the Department of Justice of the HKSAR government and the national security department of the Hong Kong Police Force were recently established according to law and started their work. Chief Executive of HKSAR Carrie Lam has appointed judges to hear cases related to the national security law, and the Implementation Rules for Article 43 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR have taken effect.

All these signal that Hong Kong has basically built an implementation mechanism for safeguarding national security.

The promulgation of the national security law for implementation marks a major turning point in Hong Kong from chaos to governance. The national security law is not a decoration; it must be effective and have strong enforcement mechanisms.

The establishment of the office is a major measure taken by the central government to fulfill its fundamental responsibilities for safeguarding national security.

As agencies of the central government in Hong Kong, the office, along with relevant agencies in the HKSAR, carry out their work in accordance with the duties stipulated by the national security law. Together, they constitute the implementation mechanism of the HKSAR to maintain national security, and perform the constitutional responsibility of maintaining national security to ensure that relevant laws are in place and effectively implemented.

National security undoubtedly comes within the purview of the central authorities. The central authorities have the power and responsibility to take all necessary measures to maintain national security.

The central government has full trust in the HKSAR and authorizes it to fulfill the main task of safeguarding national security, but still needs to retain the power to address an extremely small number of cases that the HKSAR is unable to deal with.

The national security law in the HKSAR stipulates that the right of jurisdiction over crimes endangering national security rests with the HKSAR government, except under three specific circumstances.

First, when a case involves a complex situation involving the intervention of a foreign country or overseas forces, and the HKSAR has difficulty in exercising jurisdiction; second, when the HKSAR government is unable to effectively enforce the law; and third, when national security faces a major and imminent threat.

It should be noticed that the office cannot independently exercise jurisdiction over a case at its own discretion. There are very few criminal cases under the jurisdiction of the office, and there are strict enforcement procedures in place. In other words, the cases must be proposed by the HKSAR government or the office and reported to the Central People's Government for approval. Designing the system in this way shows that the central government fully respects Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy.

The establishment of the office is a key link for Hong Kong to safeguard national security. It won’t replace the agencies of the HKSAR, or affect the law enforcement power, prosecution power, independent judicial power and final adjudication power enjoyed by the HKSAR in its own jurisdiction.

The two law enforcement and judicial bodies of the central government and the HKSAR carry out law enforcement and judicial activities in accordance with their respective laws. This will make Hong Kong's system of safeguarding national security more sound and effective, and actions to combat various activities that endanger national security more forceful.

In the face of the strengthened protection of national security in Hong Kong, unscrupulous anti-China forces are playing their old tricks again by discrediting the judicial system and the rule of law on the mainland.

However, their lies have been exposed in the face of facts and laws. It is known by all that the Chinese mainland has a sound legal system and a good environment for the rule of law.

According to the latest Doing Business 2020 by a World Bank Group report, China has topped the world in terms of the quality of its judicial process for two consecutive years.

At this time, some Hong Kong citizens still have worries and doubts about the national security agencies of the central government in Hong Kong. This is understandable.

History is the best teacher. Before returning to the motherland, Hong Kong society also had similar worries and doubts, but the facts after Hong Kong’s reunification dispelled all rumors.

We believe that under the effects of the national security law and efforts of the office, and especially national security agencies in Hong Kong, all conduct and activities that endanger national security will be effectively prevented, stopped and punished.

Time will eventually prove that the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR is the protector of Hong Kong and national security.

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

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