CCP ambassador to the US defends national security law for HK

From CCP Media

WASHINGTON – CCP Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai on Friday shared basic facts and his viewpoints on the newly enacted national security law for Hong Kong through a video message by using the numbers “1 to 9.”

He said that “1 and 2” means “one country, two systems.”

This will remain the basic guideline for the governance of Hong Kong. The adoption of the law is a milestone in the practice of “one country, two systems” and will provide a strong institutional guarantee for its long-term implementation, the Chinese ambassador said.

“With 3, I mean 3 million here. A signature campaign to endorse the law was initiated in Hong Kong late May. Within eight days, almost 3 million Hong Kong residents signed online or at street stands to show their support. The law is what the people really want,” he said.

The number 4 refers to the four offences and their corresponding penalties prescribed in the law, namely secession, subversion, terrorist activities, collusion with foreign countries or external elements to endanger national security, he said.

The number 5 stands for five decades. According to the Basic Law of Hong Kong, its capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years, Cui said.

“With 6, I mean the six chapters and 66 articles of the law. I would advise you to read the whole law thoroughly and carefully, so as to avoid any misunderstanding or the influence of biases,” he said.

The numbers 7 and 8 stand for the over 7 million Hong Kong residents and over 80,000 American citizens living in Hong Kong. The national security law will help ensure the restoration of social order in the city, and this is absolutely good news for all of them, the ambassador said.

In the Chinese culture, 9 often means “long-lasting,” Cui said, adding he has full confidence that the national security law will ensure the long-term stability and prosperity of Hong Kong.

As Hong Kong belongs to China, Hong Kong affairs are definitely China’s domestic affairs. The Chinese government and people are fully determined to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and to oppose external interference in Hong Kong affairs, Cui said.

National security law requires better understanding

A senior legislator on Friday called for legal professionals across the country to closely study and accurately interpret the newly adopted National Security Law for Hong Kong to help create a solid foundation of public opinion regarding the law’s implementation.

While carrying out the law, legal professionals should stay vigilant against defamation and obstruction by those seeking to sow trouble in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, and resolutely oppose external interference.

“Attempts to obstruct the law’s enforcement by making threats, taking containment measures or exerting pressure will never succeed,” said Wang Chen, vice-chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and director of the China Law Society.

He was speaking at a seminar in Beijing that addressed the new law’s implementation. The NPC Standing Committee, the country’s top legislature, on Tuesday unanimously adopted the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The law has since been added to Annex III of Hong Kong’s Basic Law and took effect immediately.

The law clearly defines the duty to safeguard national security in the HKSAR with four categories constituting offenses: secession, subversion, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign or external elements that endanger national security. The new legislation also details corresponding penalties for infractions.

Experts attending the seminar expressed full support for the law, and believe it’s in full accord with the country’s Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, according to an official release.

They agreed that the law has taken into full account the practical need to safeguard national security in Hong Kong, and it can effectively protect the legitimate rights of the city’s residents.

“The law not only serves as a cornerstone for our national security, but also protects the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents,” said Qi Yanping, a professor at Beijing Institute of Technology’s School of Law. “We’ve all witnessed what happened in Hong Kong in recent years. Under such a chaotic situation, the basic human rights of local residents in Hong Kong could not be protected.”

Chen Zexian, executive vice-chairman of the Criminal Law Research Committee at the China Law Society, said that the new legislation builds an enforcement system, involving both the central and HKSAR governments, to ensure it is carried out. It also clarifies the legal procedures through which the four categories of crimes will be dealt with in a timely and accurate fashion.

Experts at the seminar said the legislation is a major measure that helps implement the “one country, two systems” principle, a key turning point for the HKSAR’s ability to transform crisis to opportunity and bring order out of chaos.

Many nations support new security law

Several emphasize that Hong Kong’s affairs are solely matters for China

More than 70 countries have voiced their support for China’s National Security Law for Hong Kong at the ongoing 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council being held in Geneva.

The National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, voted on Tuesday to unanimously pass the law.

Following support for the legislation stated on Tuesday by a representative of Cuba on behalf of 53 countries, another 20 countries have spoken at the UNHRC session to express their support for the law.

“Russia firmly supports China’s implementation of ‘one country, two systems’ in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong’s affairs are purely China’s internal affairs,” said a Russian representative.

A Laos representative said the country welcomes China’s efforts to safeguard national security by establishing and improving national security legislation for Hong Kong as well as its implementation mechanism.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian expressed China’s appreciation for support of the law from over 70 countries.

“A small group of Western countries won’t succeed in discrediting China by using it (the national security law) as an excuse,” Zhao said at a daily news briefing on Friday.

At the UNHRC session, representatives from Myanmar and Cambodia also said that passing national security legislation is within a nation’s sovereign authority. They believe the new law is beneficial in ensuring national security and maintaining “one country, two systems”. They expect that Hong Kong will continue to maintain peace, stability, harmony and prosperity and be free from foreign interference.

“The national security legislation for Hong Kong is part of China’s national security affairs and is an internal affair. The law will not jeopardize ‘one country, two systems’ and will not affect the legal rights, freedoms and interests of Hong Kong people,” said a representative from Afghanistan.

“Burundi appreciates China’s efforts in promoting and protecting human rights and its contribution to the human rights cause in the world,” said a representative from the African nation.

The representative voiced Burundi’s firm support for “one country, two systems” and praised the passage of the new law, saying it will effectively guarantee human rights for Hong Kong people.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Venezuela and Cameroon also opposed certain countries interfering in China’s internal affairs and using Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region affairs as an excuse to do so.

Representatives from Serbia, Armenia and Chad voiced support for the one-China policy, “one country, two systems” and China’s right to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Hong Kong’s affairs are purely China’s internal affairs, said representatives from Nepal and Kyrgyzstan.

British journalist & author: Western politicians and media’s hypocrisy over HK criticized by British academic

The reaction of Western countries led by the United Kingdom and the United States against China’s enactment of its National Security Law in the Hong Kong Special Administration Region is riddled with hypocrisy and stems from blatant disrespect for China’s sovereignty, said British academic and author Martin Jacques.

He said Western nations are resisting China’s exercising its sovereign rights in Hong Kong because they still regard Hong Kong to be partly theirs and certainly not wholly China’s. He called it an affliction and psychological condition of old imperial powers such as Britain, which can’t let go of their “golden era” and still think, in Hong Kong’s case, that it is still theirs or partly theirs.

So criticism over the security law in Hong Kong comes down to fundamental disagreements about Chinese sovereignty over the city, he told China Daily on Thursday.

He said Britain’s attitude can be seen with regard to its former African colonies, which are seen through the prism of colonial rule and colonial responsibility.

Jacques, a former senior fellow at Cambridge University, talked about what is called the “Five Eyes” security alliance of the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. These countries share a kinship, speak the same language and shared a “white settler colonist” history.

He called the security pact “a celebration of colonial legacy” in some ways. It is not only political, but also represents an ethnic-racial, white-centric world view, he said. The West thinks it represents the norms and values of the modern world, and China is in breach of that view, Jacques said. Those nations resort to a narrative with an underlying malicious tone questioning China’s “legitimacy”, he said.

This, by extension, drives the collective slanders by Western media toward China, particularly when China exercises its sovereign rights with regards to Hong Kong, according to Jacques.

Western countries that condemn China’s sovereign rights have a number of national security laws of their own, some of which are more strict toward subversion and threats to the state, he said.

Jacques, author of When China Rules the World: the End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, questioned how these countries could insist that there’s no need for security legislation in Hong Kong after the widespread unrest in the city since June 2019.

“The argument against national security legislation in Hong Kong is quite ridiculous. How can you go through all those riots and destruction of property in 2019 without realizing that Hong Kong needed proper national security legislation?” he said.

Jacques criticized what he called the hypocrisy of the West. He said there was virtually no criticism from Western media of violence by the rioters. Instead, he said, they were treated as “heroes”.

It was an utterly irresponsible reaction, considering the West would never allow such destruction and breakdown of the rule of law to happen in their own cities, he said.

Jacques said that after 23 years, it was high time for the Chinese government to introduce national security legislation for the city. He said 23 years was a long time to wait, especially since no major country would tolerate a situation where it had no security legislation.

Britain’s path-to-citizenship offer for Hong Kong residents who are British National (Overseas) passport holders was purely political grandstanding on the UK’s part, according to Jacques.

As for moves by the US to pass the Hong Kong Autonomy Act with sanctions, and the revocation of Hong Kong’s privileged trade status, Jacques does not see this as a critical blow to the SAR.

China has already become the center of innovation, said Jacques, who also called China’s development momentous and crucial to the global economy.

China may have broken Hong Kong free from colonial rule back in 1997, but Jacques said the West still has yet to break free from a colonial mindset.

Security officials appointed for HKSAR

China’s State Council on Friday appointed Luo Huining, current director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as the region’s new national security adviser.

Luo will sit on Hong Kong’s newly established Committee for Safeguarding National Security, which is chaired by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, to provide advice on matters relating to the duties of the committee.

The committee was set up as envisioned in the recently promulgated National Security Law for Hong Kong, which took effect on Tuesday, to handle national security affairs.

The law stipulates that the committee assumes primary responsibility for safeguarding national security, including assessing situations, formulating policies and coordinating major work and significant operations, and the committee shall be under the supervision of and accountable to the central government.

The law also stipulates that the central government shall establish the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR to assess security situations, suggest major strategies, collect intelligence and oversee, guide and support the HKSAR in national security work, as well as exercise jurisdiction over a small number of criminal cases under specific circumstances.

The State Council on Friday appointed Zheng Yanxiong, currently serving as a member of the Standing Committee of the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, as the head of the office.

Li Jiangzhou and Sun Qingye have been appointed deputy heads of the office. Li is the director-general of the Police Liaison Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. No background information on Sun was immediately available.

Lam welcomed the newly appointed officials. She greeted them in a statement on Friday, pledging her utmost efforts to work with Luo and Zheng.

She said the HKSAR government will work closely with the national security adviser and the national security office to “perform their respective functions and do their utmost in implementing the National Security Law, fulfilling the duty of the HKSAR in safeguarding national security”.

Lam on Friday also appointed Edwina Lau as deputy commissioner of police to head the department for safeguarding national security of the Hong Kong Police Force.

Lam said Lau has served in the Hong Kong Police Force for 35 years and has demonstrated “distinguished leadership, professionalism and perseverance”.

“I have no doubt that she will discharge the historic responsibility of leading the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force to fulfill its crucial duty at this critical moment,” Lam said.

A spokesman for the HKSAR government also announced on Friday that a specialized prosecution division for national security offenses under the Department of Justice has been established as required by the National Security Law.

The division’s first group of prosecutors has been appointed by the secretary for justice after obtaining the consent of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security, and the head will be appointed later.

Lam has also designated six serving magistrates from the judiciary as designated judges to handle future national security cases.

“The committee will shortly convene its first meeting to fully advance the work on safeguarding national security,” the spokesman added.

The HKSAR government has announced all staff members of the committee, including Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Financial Secretary Paul Chan, Secretary for Justice Teresa Chen, Secretary for Security John Lee and the commissioner and deputy commissioner of police, Tang Ping-keung and Edwina Lau.

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