By Li Qingqing
Will a national security law that is to be implemented in Hong Kong undermine the “one country, two systems” principle? Before answering this question, we’d like to ask: Which country does not have national security laws? Which country would allow its administrative regions to become a void of national security where some internal forces collude with foreign forces and jeopardize national security?
Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) shall enact national security laws on its own. But it has been almost 23 years since Hong Kong’s return to China, and the Hong Kong SAR has failed to enact such laws.
Some extreme opposition forces in Hong Kong are inciting the public to resist Article 23 legislation, which has been supported by countries such as the US and the UK. In Hong Kong’s opinion sphere, Article 23 legislation has almost become taboo and can barely be mentioned.
In 2003, mass protests took place in opposition to Article 23 legislation. The legislation of national security laws has become a long-term point of contest between the central government and Hong Kong’s extreme opposition which rallies support from Western forces.
The absence of a national security law is one of the very reasons that Hong Kong has become chaotic and its value system has deviated from the normal track. The rule of law has been undermined by extremists who play a destructive role in national security and set a bad example to society.
This must end. National security legislation in Hong Kong is a necessary guarantee for the “one country, two systems” principle to function normally and for Hong Kong to enjoy a high degree of autonomy. As the Hong Kong SAR is in a difficult position to fulfill this task, the National People’s Congress needs to shoulder the responsibility based on the right given by the Constitution and the Basic Law. It must help a lost Hong Kong find its position as a special administrative region of China.
The logic of the move is clear, and its urgency is known to all. Saying the national security law in Hong Kong undermines “one country, two systems” and puts Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy in jeopardy is simply a US-centric value and disregards the fact that Hong Kong has returned to China.
We believe most countries will understand China’s moves and not follow US rhetoric. Washington has already rallied support from its Western allies to attack China. Some have taken a stance, but only the US has said that it will have a strong reaction.
All countries need to guarantee national security. Western countries can understand this political and legal need as long as they are not biased.
Obviously, Beijing is determined to prevent external forces from interfering in Hong Kong affairs and to reconstruct the national security system in Hong Kong regardless of the costs. We advise Washington and extreme forces within Hong Kong not to misjudge the situation and wrongly believe they can obstruct the legislation and implementation of the law.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Friday that Beijing’s plan to bypass Hong Kong’s legislative process and pass a national security law would be a “death knell” for the Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. Yes, there would be a “death knell,” but for the US’ interference in Hong Kong affairs. Washington will be made to realize that Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy is ensured under Chinese jurisdiction, not US manipulation.
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