Henry Litton, a retired judge of Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal, said on Monday the West’s repeated accusations about the National Security Law for Hong Kong are “so far from the reality”.
Litton made his remarks during a legal forum on the National Security Law for Hong Kong, which was held in the city less than a week after the first anniversary of the implementation of the law.
Secretary for Justice Cheng Yeuk-wah in her speech said the National Security has taken into account the safeguards for “human rights and the rule of law”
The forum, titled “Security Brings Prosperity”, was attended by some legal heavyweights and principal officials of the Hong Kong and aimed at deepening Hong Kong residents’ understanding of the National Security Law for the city.
Speaking at a keynote speech section of the program in the afternoon, Litton said he agrees that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been used as a proxy by the West for a wider power fight against China, as China’s rise poses a threat to the dominance of the West.
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He recalled how anti-government radicals and rioters in Hong Kong broke the law and clashed with police in 2019 amid “the most damaging unrest that the city has ever seen”.
The turbulence and the failure of the SAR to legislate on Article 23 of the Basic Law even after 20 years since its return to the motherland, made it absolutely necessary to enact the National Security Law for Hong Kong, the veteran judge said.
Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulates that the HKSAR shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the central government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.
Attending the same event, Secretary for Justice Cheng Yeuk-wah in her speech said the law has taken into account the safeguards for “human rights and the rule of law”.
She said the law doesn't affect the normal exchanges and interactions between local institutions and individuals overseas. However, hostile moves by those who call for sanctions or cooperate with foreign powers to sanction the city and the country don’t fall into that category, she added.
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Another speaker, Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung, said the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong has been effective in cracking down on activities that endanger national security, as well as in fighting against the interference of external forces.
Noting that the city still faces a growing risk of homegrown terrorism, Tang said that in addition to their strict law enforcement, the Security Bureau and other relevant law enforcement departments will double down on their crime -prevention efforts and the enhancement of residents’ awareness of safeguarding national security."