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National security legislation set to bolster HK stability

By Zhang Yangfei | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-29 07:09

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng-Yuet-ngor signs a petition supporting the national security legislation in Hong Kong, on May 28, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Approval hailed in SAR

Various sectors of Hong Kong on Thursday hailed approval of the decision by the nation's top legislature.

Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, president of Hong Kong's Legislative Council, said the NPC's endorsement of the legislation is necessary and urgently needed, adding that the legislation will protect the city's economy and people's livelihoods.

Leung also advised the government to double down on its efforts to explain the need and importance of the law for local and international communities to dispel their concerns.

Martin Liao Cheung-kong, a member of the Legislative Council, said there is "firm support" for the approval of the NPC decision. He said the legislation will close a gap in China's national security system, which was manifested in a year of street violence and terrorism-like attacks.

The Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation, a Hong Kong-based legal experts' group, also issued a statement shortly after the approval, calling the decision "constitutional and valid".

It said national security, like defense and foreign affairs, is within the jurisdiction of the central government, and these matters do not fall within the scope of the special administrative region's autonomy.

The NPC, the nation's highest organ of State power, still possesses the power to legislate on national security matters for the SAR, it said, adding that human rights protected by the Basic Law will remain "valid and effective" once the national security law comes into force.

As of noon on Thursday, over 1.85 million people in Hong Kong had signed up to support the national security legislation for the SAR, according to a signature campaign launched by an alliance of various sectors in the city.

The Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers also urged the local government to ramp up education on national security. It said "Hong Kong independence" advocacy has penetrated campuses in recent years, leading students to become involved in street violence.

Education can help foster their national identity so as to safeguard national security. Once the legislation is completed, the education bureau should distribute textbooks to schools and provide training for teachers, it added.

Cao Yin contributed to this story.

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