Home World News China US, UK should stop interfering in Hong Kong’s Article 23 legislation

US, UK should stop interfering in Hong Kong’s Article 23 legislation

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By Zhong Sheng,

Recently, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government’s public consultation on the legislation of Article 23 of the HKSAR Basic Law successfully concluded. Out of over 13,000 public opinions, more than 98 percent expressed support or positive views, fully reflecting the strong consensus among the Hong Kong public to expedite the completion of Article 23 legislation. However, the US and the UK have turned a blind eye to this and continue to attack and smear Article 23 legislation.

 

The US and the UK’s interference in Article 23 legislation obviously violates the basic norms governing international relations. Hong Kong is part of China, and Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. No foreign country has the right to interfere in Hong Kong affairs. The US and the UK should respect China’s sovereignty, abide by the principles of international law and the basic norms governing international relations, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs which are China’s internal affairs. It is worth pointing out that the UK’s attempt to intervene in Article 23 legislation by invoking the Sino-British Joint Declaration has no basis in international law. The Sino-British Joint Declaration by no means puts the UK in a position or gives it any right to interfere in Hong Kong affairs.  

 

The US and the UK’s sensationalist view that Article 23 legislation will weaken the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people is completely inconsistent with the facts. One of the principles of Article 23 legislation is to protect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents in accordance with the Basic Law of the HKSAR and the provisions of relevant international covenants as applied to Hong Kong. There is a clear line drawn between acts that constitute an offense that endangers national security, and normal commercial exchanges and activities in the fields of economy, culture, and science and technology. The normal activities of foreign institutions and personnel in Hong Kong will be protected in accordance with the law. Article 23 legislation is considered a necessary step to effectively prevent activities that compromise national security and protect the safety of life and property of the Hong kong public. It will also improve Hong Kong’s business environment, and better attract businesses and investors to Hong Kong.

 

The US and the UK have enacted numerous laws to safeguard national security, yet they hypocritically criticize and label Article 23 legislation, which is blatant political manipulation and double standards. The extraterritorial effect of Article 23 is in strict compliance with international law and the common practices of all countries and regions. The definitions of “state secrets” and “external interference” have been fully considered based on the actual situation in the HKSAR and common practices in various countries, and are reasonable, legal, and beyond reproach.

 

“Ensuring security and development” and “speeding up legislation and boosting the economy” are the most prominent demands of Hong Kong society. The HKSAR government and legislature will surely meet the expectations of society and push forward Article 23 legislation in an orderly manner and as soon as possible. Attempts by any country to obstruct Article 23 legislation will only end in vain.

 

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