Vitality of national security law for Hong Kong lies in its implementation: Global Times editorial
Published: Jul 31, 2021 01:59 AM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The High Court of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) announced on Friday that Leon Tong Ying-kit had been sentenced to nine years in prison due to separatism and terrorist activities. Tong is the first person convicted under the national security law for Hong Kong. The trial results show that the national security law is effective. No matter how unscrupulous the offenders have been, justice will never be absent.

On July 1, 2020, Tong rode a motorcycle in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, with a flag advocating "Hong Kong independence." He ran through three police checkpoints and caused serious physical injuries to three police officers. In the verdict on Tuesday, the judge said displaying the flag would have incited others to engage in secessionist acts. By crashing into the police officers, Tong was deliberately challenging the police who represent the rule of law in Hong Kong. His behavior involved serious violence and dangerous activities that seriously endangered public safety and caused serious harm to society. His behavior was intended to intimidate the public in order to achieve political goals. 

Hong Kong public opinion believed that the three judges designated by the national security law for Hong Kong made very convincing judgments, established the legal principles of national security law trials, clarified the so-called "fuzzy" fields, and have high guiding significance for the court's future trials of similar cases.

We should ensure that laws are put in place, observed, and strictly enforced and that anyone who violates the law is held accountable. This is called the rule of law. Analyzing Tong's case should not deviate from the rule of law, no matter from which point of view. But some Western forces who cannot wait to show their anti-China stance do not even bother hiding behind the guise of the rule of law. They desperately claim that violent terrorism and attacks against police are not guilty acts. They even spread rumors before the verdict, claiming that Tong will face the maximum sentence of life imprisonment. They vainly tried to use deception to reverse black and white, exposing their true face of contempt for justice. After all, they are unwilling to see the end of Hong Kong's lack of safeguarding for national security. They also hate to see their failure in trying to instigate a "color revolution" in Hong Kong.

Terrorism is terrorism. Acts that exceed the bottom line of human civilization cannot be condoned anywhere in the world. This is a major issue of right and wrong. In 2017, Terrence J. McNeil, an American who publicly mourned Osama Bin Laden, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for counts including solicitation of a crime of violence and making threatening interstate communications.

The Terrorism Act 2006 of the UK stipulated that "glorification" of terror carries a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment. Hong Kong punishing criminals that disturb and endanger public order of the city according to the law is a just action. Some Western forces stand against justice and make noises to interfere in Hong Kong-related affairs, toward which righteous people will only show contempt.

The power of the national security law for Hong Kong lies in its enforcement. The prosperous life of Hong Kong people and the economic vitality of the city as an international financial hub have fully demonstrated that this law will ensure Hong Kong's security, stability and peace. People are yearning for stability and development, which is the reality of today's Hong Kong. 

Some forces in the West regard the national security law for Hong Kong as unjust because they don't want the city to have a "patron saint" that can protect its governance and development. They even disregard the interests of the 1,300 American companies that operate in Hong Kong and are determined to sabotage Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. They smear anything that is conducive to Hong Kong's long-term peace and development. They also issue warnings and impose sanctions, which seriously violates international law and basic norms of international relations.

But Chinese people have never been and will never be intimidated by pressure and coercion. We will firmly hit back against Western bullying. The Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, which took effect in June, has already played its role. The Chinese side has taken reciprocal sanctions against unreasonable US sanctions based on this law, fully demonstrating China's attitude. 

The combined power of the national security law for Hong Kong and the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law will provide firm and strong protection for the interests of Hong Kong people, who deserve a better future together with the country.