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