Hong Kong will enact new local national security laws under Article 23 of the Basic Law and revise existing laws to better target security threats, announced leader Carrie Lam.
In her address on policy for 2021 on Wednesday, the CEO set five new security goals, including preventing “terrorist activities” by monitoring schools, launching new programs to help detained youth and introducing more oath-taking arrangements for civil servants.
The new policies aim to protect the city’s national security in a “comprehensive way,” Lam said, adding that there is still a “significant amount” of work to be done.
The goal is “to prevent those who oppose China and try to destabilize Hong Kong to take advantage of the situation to deceive the public into bad intentions.”
Lam said the city is entering a new era of the city in the final year of her tenure, saying the policies launched by the central government last year have put the One Country, Two Systems framework back on track.
“In order to ensure the strength of ‘one country, two systems’, HKSAR must constantly improve its governance system within ‘one country, two systems’, address root problems and restore order from chaos,” she said.
Cases of national security
The government plans to hold public consultations in the forthcoming legislative period before the implementation of local national security legislation under Article 23. However, there were no details on the schedule and scope of consultations.
A government source told HKFP that the law would be drafted in consultation with relevant land departments.
The laws are expected to be implemented in the next legislative term, by 2026.
“The government is trying to adjust [legislation] given the huge amount of recent NSL cases, ”said a government source regarding national security cases.
Beijing imposed its version of Hong Kong’s national security law in June 2020 and about 150 people have been arrested since then. Under the Basic Law, the city should continue to enact its own security regulations.
Lam said there is still work to be done on national security, including local Article 23 legislation, further censorship of film, oversight of schools, the media and the internet, strengthening education and further implementation of the oath requirement. pic.twitter.com/0l6U2dSSv2
– Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (@hkfp) October 6, 2021
Lam also said Wednesday that last year’s Beijing Security Act and subsequent changes to the city’s electoral system are strictly in line with China’s constitution and basic law. She criticized the accusations that the policies undermined the framework of one country, two systems as “meaningless and unfounded”.