National Security Law to protect HK democracy, freedom: Global Times editorial

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/30 23:55:07

Hong Kong citizens on Tuesday gather to support the National Security Law for Hong Kong. Photo: cnsphoto

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) passed the National Security Law for Hong Kong on Tuesday. The law took effect at 11 pm on Tuesday. The full text of the law shows that the law's goal is in line with national security laws across the world. There is nothing in it that suppresses democracy and freedom in Hong Kong. The four categories of crimes the law strikes have nothing to do with freedom of speech, assembly and association. Claims that the law was enacted to strengthen control on Hong Kong society are either prejudiced interpretations or ill-intentioned propaganda. 

Hong Kong needs a law to safeguard national security. This is the principle established in the Basic Law. Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region "shall enact laws on its own" for the sake of national security. But there had been a vacuum in relevant legislation due to opposition forces' obstruction. The city's unrest is directly related to the absence of the national security law. Eventually, it is logical for the central government to take action and for the Standing Committee of the NPC to legislate it. 

Neither the central government nor Chinese society wants to cancel "one country, two systems." However, "one country, two systems" does not mean few extreme forces in Hong Kong can collude with the US and other external forces to mess up the city, nor does it allow for violent protests - the so-called beautiful sight - to exist in Hong Kong. 

The National Security Law safeguards "one country, two systems" and will prevent Hong Kong from becoming the most turbulent city in Asia. Inside this barrier, democracy, freedom, pluralism and openness will not be suppressed. Instead, they will be more fully released.

"One country, one system" is an accusation made by Hong Kong's extreme forces and the US and other external forces. The Chinese mainland does not have such intentions. However, there is a malicious scheme to pull Hong Kong from China into the US' power circle and turn the city into a fulcrum for the US to contain China. Some forces in Hong Kong have been actively coordinating with such a scheme.

These forces have dragged Hong Kong off the right track of development. Over the past few years, the city has suddenly become highly politicized and violent, caring not about its precious status as an international financial hub. It turned into a puppet of the US and lost its way.

It is the National Security Law's core mission to heal these fatal injuries to Hong Kong. In a few hours before it was passed on Tuesday, several Hong Kong secessionist groups announced to disband. The Hang Seng index rose on Tuesday. All these will increase Hong Kong society's confidence in the implementation of the law.

Before China passed the National Security Law for Hong Kong, the US announced to revoke its preferential treatment to Hong Kong. But the US only suspended the availability of export license exceptions and ended exports of US defense equipment to Hong Kong. It does not touch Hong Kong's status as a separate customs territory. Thus, the international public opinion generally believes its direct impact will be modest. China is prepared to deal with a worse situation, and the US' threat has failed.

No city's vitality and prosperity can be endowed externally. With the help of the National Security Law, Hong Kong needs to step up to stabilize and refocus on economic and social development. Relying on the mainland's super economy, Hong Kong's status as an international financial hub cannot be taken away by anyone. 

The National Security Law for Hong Kong is not retroactive, and this makes 11 pm, June 30, 2020 a watershed. Those who are aware of the current situation and change their course will be safe. As for those who continue to do evil, the National Security Law for Hong Kong awaits. The law carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment - a tiger with teeth. In particular, the chief perpetrator will face severe punishment.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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