HKSAR gov't holds explanatory sessions on legislation of Article 23 of HKSAR Basic Law

(Xinhua) 09:58, February 16, 2024

HONG KONG, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government has held a series of briefing and consultation sessions to explain details of the legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law of the HKSAR.

On various occasions, HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee reiterated the necessity and urgency of the legislation of Article 23 of HKSAR Basic Law, saying that the legislation must be done and must be done as soon as possible.

As Hong Kong has gone through the Hong Kong version of "color revolution" in 2019, people all understand the importance of national security, and that risks to national security are serious, real and can arise unexpectedly, he said.

Paul Lam, secretary for justice of the HKSAR government, explained the legislative principles identified in the public consultation document to a meeting joined by the panel on security and the panel on the administration of justice and legal services. He said that it is necessary to formulate effective and forward-looking laws to safeguard national security based on Hong Kong's actual situation and draw on foreign experience.

Chris Tang, secretary for security of the HKSAR government, said that the legislation of Article 23 of HKSAR Basic Law is not only a constitutional duty, but an actual necessity. Hong Kong must seize the opportunity to quickly legislate to deal with continued national security risks and threats, he said.

Government officials explained the details of the legislation to people from all walks of life. Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, hosted a session attended by representatives from the financial industry. After the meeting, he said the attendees all agreed that a safe and stable business environment is a key prerequisite and core condition for social and economic development.

In response to the concerns and doubts raised by some Hong Kong residents and foreigners in Hong Kong, the HKSAR government held consultation sessions to explain the public consultation document while listening to suggestions.

People who participated in one of the consultation sessions said that the HKSAR government's explanation was timely and comprehensive, and they had a clearer understanding of the legislative work. A representative from the foreign business community who attended the meeting described that communication between all parties was smooth, and officials from the HKSAR government listened to everyone's opinions and responded to their concerns.

After an explanatory session attended by deputies of the HKSAR to the National People's Congress (NPC) and members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in the HKSAR, national legislators and political advisors in the HKSAR also voiced their support for the legislation of Article 23 of the HKSAR Basic Law.

Chen Yong, a deputy of the HKSAR to the NPC, said that he firmly supports the HKSAR in fulfilling its constitutional and legal responsibilities to make up for the shortfalls in safeguarding national security as soon as possible, and provide the greatest protection for the welfare of Hong Kong residents, so that Hong Kong can focus on developing the economy and improving people's livelihood.

The public consultation on the legislation of Article 23 of the HKSAR Basic Law was launched on Jan. 30 and lasts till Feb. 28, 2024. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liu Ning)


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