Law to allow mainland security agents into HK - RTHK
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Law to allow mainland security agents into HK

2020-05-22 HKT 10:27
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  • The issue of legislation is being put to members of the National People's Congress which is now under way in Beijing. Photo: Reuters
    The issue of legislation is being put to members of the National People's Congress which is now under way in Beijing. Photo: Reuters
Beijing intends to draw up a law to "prevent, stop and punish" any acts of secession, subversion or terrorism activities in Hong Kong that threaten national security, with mainland agencies free to set up bases in the SAR "when needed".

A resolution to be voted on by NPC delegates would also authorise the NPC Standing Committee to legislate against intervention by foreign forces in Hong Kong affairs, with the legislation to be added into Annex 3 of the Basic Law.

"When needed, relevant national security organs of the Central People's Government will set up agencies," in Hong Kong, a draft resolution said.

Wang Chen, a vice-chairman of the NPC standing committee, said they are making the move after seeing the risk to national security rising in Hong Kong, especially given the social unrest that broke out last year.

He also noted that the SAR government had failed to bring in national security laws under Article 23 of the Basic Law for years, and said there is a risk that the matter will be stalled for a long time.

"Especially since the anti-extradition bill movement that broke out in 2019, forces who oppose China and upset order in Hong Kong have publicly promoted Hong Kong independence, self-determination and referendums. They engaged in activities which destroy national unity and amount to secession," Chen said.

"Some foreign forces have publicly interfered in Hong Kong affairs. [These acts] severely threaten national sovereignty, national security and development. We must take strong steps to draw up a law to prevent, stop and punish offenders."

The draft resolution passed to NPC members on Friday morning says it is difficult in practice to legislate Article 23 laws, and existing legislation from before the handover that could be used to protect national security has been lying dormant.
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Last updated: 2020-05-22 HKT 16:52