Officials voice support for HK's security bill

China's foreign ministry office in Hong Kong and the city's security chief welcomed the proposed national security law.

China’s foreign ministry office in Hong Kong and the city’s security chief on Monday welcomed the proposed national security law.

At a briefing for diplomats, foreign business chambers and correspondents, China’s Foreign Commissioner in Hong Kong, Xie Feng, said the laws would only target a minority of “troublemakers” who had posed “imminent danger” to China’s national security.

“The legislation will alleviate the grave concerns among local and foreign business communities about the violent and terrorist forces,” Xie said.

The national security legislation targets only acts of secession, subverting state power and organizing and carrying out terrorist activities, as well as interference in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s internal affairs by external forces. It is the small minority of criminals jeopardizing national security that will be punished, while the overwhelming majority of law-abiding Hong Kong residents will be protected, he noted.

Secretary for Security John Lee said “terrorism is growing” and harmful activities such as calling for Hong Kong’s independence were becoming more rampant.

Police Commissioner Chris Tang cited 14 recent cases involving explosives which he said were commonly used in terrorist attacks overseas, and five seizures of firearms and ammunition since protests began, saying the new law would “help combat the force of ‘Hong Kong independence’ and restore social order.”

The words came after violent protests erupted in the city on Sunday, with protesters disrupting traffic, damaging property and attacking police officers, according to the Hong Kong police. The police said that at least 180 people were arrested in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Sunday condemned the violent acts of protestors, restating that the national security legislation for HKSAR is imperative.

In a Facebook post, Lam said that the draft decision was made to combat “terrorist activities,” making sure residents can live in a peaceful environment and creating an atmosphere conducive for businesses and investments.

Lam added that a number of Hong Kong officials on Sunday had publicly explained the significance of the legislation through their websites, and she and her team will continue to do so to defy unreasonable attacks and slander.

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