HK legal professionals support NPC decision on national security legislation, slam US politicians for 'double standard'
Prominent figures of the Hong Kong legal profession have expressed support for a decision by the National People's Congress to enact national security legislation for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, saying it is completely in line with the Constitution, fully legitimate and reasonable.
They also slammed on Thursday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for making "double standard" remarks about the decision, stressing that the legislation will not undermine the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong and will not affect Hong Kong residents' legitimate rights and freedoms.
The decision by the NPC adheres to the Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR and reflects the nation's determination to take feasible measures to punish acts and activities undermining national security, founding chairman of the Association of Hong Kong Professionals Kan Chung-nin said.
The so-called "Hong Kong autonomy" as referred by some Hong Kong oppositon figures and foreign politicians is in fact "full or complete autonomy" and not the high degree of autonomy that Hong Kong is endowed with, Kan said.
According to the NPC decision, the legislation only targets very few people who commit serious crimes endangering national security and will not affect Hong Kong residents' legal rights and freedoms, he said.
While the United States itself enacts a very complicated and strict national security legislation, it accuses China for taking legitimate actions in safeguarding its own national security, showing a double standard on the issue, said Wong Kit Hin, chairman of the Hong Kong Legal Professionals Association.
Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs and Pompeo's remarks are interference of China's internal affairs and violate international law and rules of international relations, he noted.
Chan Hiu-fung, head of Hong Kong and Mainland Legal Profession Association, said that those Hong Kong opposition figures and foreign politicians once again displayed their fallacy of generalization, hustling fear and hatred.
Based on the NPC decision, said Chan, the Standing Committee of the NPC will respect and protect human rights while making related laws, and not harm Hong Kong residents' freedoms of speech, press, assembly and others protected by the Basic Law.
Many Hong Kong law experts believe the legislation will provide key support for Hong Kong's stability and prosperity, and offer strong protection for maintaining national security.
Leung Mei-fun, chairperson of the LegCo's Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services, said since the turmoil arising from the proposed amendments to the fugitive offenders ordinance last year, rioters have blatantly blocked traffic, committed arson and buzzed on "Hong Kong's independence" and "self determination". External forces, with cooperation of Hong Kong's opposition politicians, interfere in Hong Kong's affairs, endangering the security of national sovereignty and damaging Hong Kong's stability and prosperity.
Under the circumstances, the Standing Committee of the NPC, in accordance with the Constitution, the Basic Law and the decision, would make relevant laws on national security for Hong Kong, so that the HKSAR would better fulfill its responsibility of safeguarding national security, and Hong Kong's long-term stability and residents' well-being will be better protected.
Hoo Hong-ching, chairman of the Basic Law Institute, said that the current laws of Hong Kong relevant to safeguarding national security are difficult to be effectively implemented, making the enacting and promulgating of the national security laws in Hong Kong an urgent task.
Fu Kin-chi, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation's executive council, said every country has the right to enact laws to protect national security and thus the decision of the NPC to legislate on safeguarding national security for Hong Kong from the state level is reasonable, moral and legitimate.
He believes that the related laws would effectively strike the activities of violence, terrorism and "Hong Kong's independence," plugging the loopholes of Hong Kong's current laws.
Fu urged Hong Kong residents to divorce with violence and the so-called "burn with us" mentality and support the NPC's legislation work on safeguarding national security for Hong Kong.