Article 23 legislation to create stable, prosperous future for Hong Kong: official

(Xinhua) 11:25, March 22, 2024

GENEVA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Article 23 legislation will bring about a stable and prosperous future for Hong Kong, Cheung Kwok-kwan, deputy secretary for justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said on Wednesday.

Cheung made the remarks while addressing the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

Legislation on Article 23 of the Basic Law was recently passed by Hong Kong's legislature to enact laws to safeguard national security, Cheung said.

He stated that every sovereign state, including China, has an inherent right to enact laws to safeguard its national security, emphasizing that many countries have enacted a host of national security laws based on their own national security risks and needs.

The Hong Kong official stated that the legislation will enhance his country's protection against real national security threats in today's complex global landscape.

He emphasized that the legislation is in full accordance with international law and practices, and called the criticisms from certain countries and organizations ignorant of legal principles and riddled with double standards.

He also mentioned that the legislation clearly specifies that the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law, as well as the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, as applied to Hong Kong, are to be protected.

"This important principle forms a cornerstone of the legislation and is literally written in the new law," he said.

Cheung noted that the legislation strictly adheres to the rule of law, ensuring that the laws are clear and definite, with appropriate exceptions and defenses, to prevent inadvertent violation by the public.

He said the legislative exercise has gained broad support from the Hong Kong public, and any efforts to criticize or weaken Article 23 legislation are misguided.

Cheung added that he believes the legislation would bring about a stable and prosperous future for Hong Kong, with the rights and freedoms under the law fully protected.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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