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Article 23 Legislation Consolidates Security Foundation of Hong Kong's Transition from Governance to Prosperity
2024-04-18 03:49

LUO Weidong, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Toronto

The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, which implements the Article 23 of the Basic Law, was officially gazetted and came into effect, finally filling the legal gap in maintaining national security in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China(HKSAR) recently.

Seeing that Hong Kong is promoting a transition from governance to prosperity, some overseas politicians tried their best to smear the Ordinance, slander HKSAR's democracy and rule of law, as well as discredit One Country, Two Systems.Lies cannot cover up the truth. I will help friends from all walks of life in the consular district to understand from three aspectswhy the Ordinance consolidates the governance and prosperity of HKSAR.

The Article 23 Legislation is justified and reasonable. Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong. Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. National security is of top priority. Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Basic Law of the HKSAR of the People's Republic of China together form the constitutional basis of the HKSAR.Safeguarding national security is a constitutional responsibility that the HKSAR must fulfill.Article 23 of the Basic Law explicitly authorizes Hong Kong to legislate on its own to safeguard national security. This reflects the characteristics ofOne Country, Two Systemsand the central government's high trust in the HKSAR.

It can be said that, the Article 23 legislation is necessary to fulfill the constitutional order of the HKSAR to safeguard our country's sovereignty and national security, to cope with national security risks and challenges, to optimize the HKSAR's legal system and law enforcement mechanism to safeguard national security. The Ordinance ensures the long-term prosperity and stability and provides an important systematic safeguard for the acceleration of Hong Kong's transition towards stability and thriving development.

The Article 23 Legislation is in compliance with public opinion. Households in Hong Kong will feel safe and the region will see stability only when national security is safeguarded. Hong Kong's development in isolation from national security is like water without a source or a tree without roots.Hong Kong people have come to share a sentiment from the bitter lessons of the turmoil after the proposed legislative amendments in Hong Kong that, only legislation can firmly establish the bottom line of One Country, Two Systems,and bolster security, prosperity and long-term stability in Hong Kong.

Justice will prevail. As early as 2020, about 3 million Hong Kong people signed their names in support of the Hong Kong National Security Law, strongly expressing their firm support for safeguarding national security.When the HKSAR Government announced the commencement of the Article 23 legislation, members of the public and various sectors of the community including the commercial sector and major chambers of commerce, other professional sectors and political parties, voiced support for the legislative work through different channels. During the public consultation, people actively expressed opinions and offered suggestions, among whom 98.6 percent showed support and made positive comments.

The completion of Article 23 legislation wins overwhelming support from all walks of life in Hong Kong. Effectively completing the Article 23 legislation in accordance with the lawrealizes the long-desired common aspiration of all Chinese people, including the Hong Kong compatriots.

The Article 23 Legislation is in tune with the general trend. The Ordinance becomes an important legal safeguard for the implementation of One Country, Two Systems, which also means ensuring the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, safeguarding the interests of foreign investors, preserving thefreedomand democracy of Hong Kong, and protecting the human rights and fundamental well-being of all residents in Hong Kong.

Over the past 27 years, the practice of One Country, Two Systemsin Hong Kong has been like a seedling, growing strong and fruitful in the wind and rain.One Countryis like the roots of the seedling. The roots must run deep and strong for it to grow tall and luxuriant.The enactment and implementation of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance has strengthened the security foundation of Hong Kong's development. The more firmly the One countryprinciple is upheld, the greater strength the Two systemsis unleashed for the development of Hong Kong.

The Ordinance specifically targets a small number of people who pose a threat to national security, acting like a guardianto defend the rights and freedom, property and investment of the vast majority of Hong Kong residents and foreign investors.

Hong Kong can move forward without worries or burden, and can focus on developing the economy and improving people's livelihoods with security ensured. The Ordinance will enable Hong Kong to better consolidate its status as an international financial, shipping and trade center, to constantly improve its world-class rule of law and business environment.Hong Kong will become more open, more free, more connected and more inclusive. Hong Kong will make better use of its unique status and advantages to deepen exchanges and cooperation with countries around the world, including Canada.

Since the beginning of this year, a number of world-class mega events were staged in Hong Kong: the first One Earth Summit, the first Global Investors' Symposium, the second edition of the Wealth for Good in Hong Kong Summit (WGHK), Art Basel, the 48th Hong Kong International Film Festival and a wave of other dazzling happenings. Economy, culture, art and other fields are showing prosperity.

The long-term positive trend of the Chinese economy has not changed and will not change. With high-level security guarantees, Hong Kong will surely be able to seize the opportunities in the process of Chinese modernization and actively dovetail itself with the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25)for National Economic and Social Development of the P. R. China and other national strategies such as the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

Hong Kong is set to thrive with a brighter future. Completed Article 23 legislation, Hong Kong has laid a solid foundation for development security. A high level of security will ensure Hong Kong's high-quality development and high-level openness. I have no doubt that, this Pearl of the Orientwill only continue to shine ever more brightly!

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