Govt rejects biased remarks

February 29, 2024

The Security Bureau today strongly disapproved of and rejected the biased and erroneous remarks made by UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron concerning Basic Law Article 23 legislation.


In a press statement, Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung said Mr Cameron, while making his remarks, deliberately refrained from mentioning the extensive public consultation and nearly 30 consultation sessions conducted by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on Article 23 legislation.


“In fact, a majority of the participants and members of the public filing written submissions in response to the public consultation indicated their support for the legislation; and once the Safeguarding National Security Bill is finalised, it will be introduced to the Legislative Council for scrutiny.”


Mr Tang noted that the legislative proposals were made with reference to laws of foreign countries, including those of the UK where over 10 stringent laws are enacted to safeguard its national security.


“What Mr Cameron said reflected his double standards.”


Moreover, the security chief pointed out that regardless of political, social, economic and cultural systems, every state will enact laws on safeguarding national security.


“This is an inherent right of every sovereign state, and is also an international practice. Each country or region has the right to enact laws in the most suitable way, having regard to its own circumstances and needs.


“It should also respect the systems of other countries and regions and their responsibilities and needs to legislate for safeguarding national security, rather than conceitedly attempting to interfere in the legislative procedures of other countries or regions.”


Additionally, he stressed that the UK should immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs which are the internal affairs of China.


After Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, the Chinese Government rules the Hong Kong SAR with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law rather than the Sino-British Joint Declaration, he reiterated, adding that the UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision over Hong Kong.


Mr Tang also made it clear that the Hong Kong SAR Government will complete the Article 23 legislative exercise as early as possible to plug national security loopholes.


“In formulating the relevant offences and drafting the bill, we will target acts endangering national security with precision and define the elements and penalties of the relevant offences with clarity.”


Normal business operations and normal exchanges with overseas institutions, organisations and individuals will be fully protected by the law, he added.

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