Highlights from the news con­fer­ence on the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Law for the SAR

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS -

Crime of col­lu­sion

Com­mon and nor­mal for­eign con­nec­tions and ex­changes shall not con­sti­tute a crime of col­lu­sion with a for­eign coun­try or with ex­ter­nal el­e­ments to en­dan­ger na­tional se­cu­rity un­der the law.

The ar­ti­cle clearly stip­u­lates the sit­u­a­tions un­der which “col­lu­sion” with for­eign forces con­sti­tutes a crime, in­clud­ing a per­son who steals, spies, ob­tains with pay­ment, or un­law­fully pro­vides State se­crets or in­tel­li­gence con­cern­ing na­tional se­cu­rity to a for­eign coun­try or or­ga­ni­za­tion. A per­son who asks a for­eign coun­try or or­ga­ni­za­tion to com­mit acts that in­clude pro­vok­ing ha­tred among Hong Kong res­i­dents to­ward the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Govern­ment, or re­ceives in­struc­tions, con­trol and fund­ing from a for­eign coun­try or or­ga­ni­za­tion to do so, shall also be guilty of the crime, the law said.

The con­cept of “pro­vok­ing ha­tred” is taken from Hong Kong’s ex­ist­ing Crimes Or­di­nance, which stip­u­lates that it is a crime to in­cite ha­tred be­tween res­i­dents and against the govern­ment.

Ar­ti­cle 23 of the Ba­sic Law

The new law will not re­place Hong Kong’s need to en­act its own an­ti­sub­ver­sion laws stip­u­lated in Ar­ti­cle 23 of its Ba­sic Law.

Ar­ti­cle 7 of the law clearly stip­u­lates that Hong Kong shall com­plete, as early as pos­si­ble, leg­is­la­tion for safe­guard­ing na­tional se­cu­rity as stip­u­lated in the Ba­sic Law and re­fine rel­e­vant laws.

The new law and Ar­ti­cle 23 of the Ba­sic Law have some sim­i­lar­i­ties but are also very dif­fer­ent. Ar­ti­cle 23 lists seven types of crimes that en­dan­ger na­tional se­cu­rity, whereas the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Law stip­u­lates four. Se­ces­sion and sub­ver­sion are in­cluded in both.

The new Na­tional Se­cu­rity Law also in­tro­duces broader con­tent, in­clud­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties at both the cen­tral and lo­cal levels and as­pects to do with im­prov­ing the le­gal sys­tem and en­force­ment mech­a­nism.

Des­ig­nat­ing judges

en­dan­ger­ing na­tional se­cu­rity has no ef­fect on the in­de­pen­dent ex­er­cise of ju­di­cial au­thor­ity by courts and judges.

Ar­ti­cle 44 of the law clearly stip­u­lates that the chief ex­ec­u­tive may con­sult the Com­mit­tee for Safe­guard­ing Na­tional Se­cu­rity of the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion and the chief jus­tice of the Court of Fi­nal Ap­peal be­fore mak­ing such a des­ig­na­tion.

The des­ig­nated judges will still try cases in­de­pen­dently and be free from any in­ter­fer­ence. The ar­range­ment of des­ig­nat­ing judges re­flects the con­sti­tu­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity of Hong Kong and also takes the ac­tual sit­u­a­tion of Hong Kong’s ju­di­cial sys­tem into con­sid­er­a­tion.

Global fi­nan­cial center

Hong Kong’s sta­tus as an in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial center will not be un­der­mined by the sanc­tions im­posed by the United States, and the cen­tral govern­ment has full con­fi­dence in the HKSAR’s fu­ture.

Fun­da­men­tally, Hong Kong’s sta­tus as a global fi­nan­cial center and its longterm pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity de­pend on two fac­tors — whether or not its ad­van­tages in the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment and fi­nan­cial sys­tem will be af­fected and whether or not the mo­men­tum of the main­land’s eco­nomic developmen­t and the cen­tral govern­ment’s sup­port for the SAR will be weak­ened.

Retroac­tiv­ity of the law

The law will not be retroac­tively ap­plied, mean­ing it will not ap­ply to acts that hap­pened be­fore it came into force.

The non-retroac­tiv­ity of the law is in line with the gen­eral pro­vi­sions of in­ter­na­tional crim­i­nal laws.

Hong Kong’s lo­cal laws, in­clud­ing the Crimes Or­di­nance, Pub­lic Or­der Or­di­nance and So­ci­eties Or­di­nance, and Of­fi­cial Se­crets Or­di­nance, have cer­tain pro­vi­sions re­lated to na­tional se­cu­rity. These laws should be used to pun­ish of­fenses.

Ar­ti­cle 8 of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Law stip­u­lates that Hong Kong’s law en­force­ment and ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties shall fully en­force pro­vi­sions of this law and of the lo­cal laws in force con­cern­ing the preven­tion, sup­pres­sion and pu­n­ish­ment of crim­i­nal acts.

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Hong Kong SAR des­ig­nat­ing judges to han­dle cases deal­ing with the of­fense of

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