No timetable to enact Article 23

April 17, 2018

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has the constitutional duty to enact Basic Law Article 23, but it does not have a timetable to do so yet.


Chief Executive Carrie Lam made the statement ahead of today's Executive Council meeting.


She said: "I have time (and) again stressed that local legislation to put in place Basic Law Article 23, which is to protect national security, is the constitutional duty of Hong Kong, of the Hong Kong SAR Government and of myself as the Chief Executive.


"But in order to do our job, we have to ensure that we have the right environment, the suitable conditions. Otherwise, it will simply be abortive and futile and wasting a lot of time and resources on the part of the Government, the legislators and society at large.


"We need to create the condition which is conducive to enacting Basic Law (Article) 23 because of the previous experience we had and the controversies that we have encountered.


"So it is my duty to try to create that conducive environment in a very thoughtful and vigilant way, but unfortunately the time has not come yet and I do not yet have a timetable so the reference to next year is totally speculation."


When asked about the upcoming visit of Qiao Xiaoyang, former chairman of the National People's Congress Law Committee, Mrs Lam said the trip has nothing to do with the Article 23 legislation or any pro-independence advocacies in Hong Kong.

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