Govt prepares for Article 23

May 11, 2022

Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung today said the Government will work on the enactment of Article 23 of the Basic Law as soon as possible.


Speaking to the media at the Legislative Council Complex, Mr Tang explained that the consultation work on Article 23 has been postponed.


“Originally, we were thinking that we should launch a public consultation on the enactment of Article 23 of the Basic Law in the first half of this year, but because of the COVID-19 epidemic situation, we have to focus on the fight against the virus.”


He also noted that enacting the law is a complicated and serious matter.


“We have to make sure that the new legislation is able to handle what happened in the past, what is happening in the current moment and also what will happen in the future. We have to be very cautious in working out a detailed and workable plan and we will try our best to do it as soon as possible.”


Answering lawmakers’ questions this morning, Mr Tang pointed out there also practical needs to legislate on Article 23.


He said since the reunification of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, there are deficiencies in the laws and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security.


“In recent years, following the overall development of the state, many western countries regard China as a major competitor and even take a completely hostile position against it,” Mr Tang noted.


Given Hong Kong's unique environment and lifestyles under the principle of “one country, two systems”, it is easy for external elements to infiltrate with malicious intention, or even attempt to foment “colour revolution”, subvert state power, as well as to promote and advocate Hong Kong independence, thus intensifying national security risks.


Mr Tang said the Government will adhere to the principle of openness and transparency for publicity and explanatory work.


He added that the work of formulating the legislative proposals is of a complicated nature and the Government will continue to proactively embrace challenges and handle the work proficiently.

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