Security law is not the end of the world: Ronny Tong - RTHK
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Security law is not the end of the world: Ronny Tong

2020-05-29 HKT 11:17
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  • Security law is not the end of the world: Ronny Tong
Executive councillor Ronny Tong says people should not see Beijing's upcoming national security legislation for the SAR as the "end of the world" or "the death of 'One country, Two Systems", or worry that the legislation will be above other laws in the territory.

Speaking on an RTHK radio programme on Friday, Tong said the law will be political in nature, and that Beijing has been forced to introduce it because of the situation it faces.

He said the core values that protect people's rights, such as the presumption of innocence and open trial, will still exist.

When asked about what input Hong Kong people will have in the national security legislation, Tong said that Article 18 of the Basic Law states that before any national law is introduced into annex III, the central government should consult the Basic Law Committee and the SAR government.

"So there would be a stage where we would be consulted, and I think the SAR government has made it plain that it would use all of its efforts to ensure that that consultation would enable us to truly reflect the worries and concerns of the people in Hong Kong," he said.

He also said any US sanctions against Hong Kong would be "contrary to common sense", and called on people to wait and see what the details of the national security law are first.

"On the one hand people are saying that autonomy is being restricted, not by Hong Kong itself, but by the central government. If so why should Hong Kong be punished?" Tong asked.

He also said that the US is Hong Kong's second biggest trading partner and by applying sanctions to the SAR, the US would effectively be sanctioning their own businesses.

Tong also said he understood the concerns of the international community regarding the national security legislation, but not much is known about the legislation yet.

He said: "It is far better that when we do have details of the coming legislation, for people to look at the details and to ask themselves the question whether in fact Hong Kong’s autonomy is being truly affected, and whether or not the rights and core values of Hong Kong people are truly being affected. So I think the best thing to do is to wait and see what are the proposed details of the legislation."

Also appearing on the same programme as Tong was Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong's sole delegate to the National People's Congress. He stressed that the national security legislation will only target a small number of people, that those people will "retreat from the cliff edge", and that society needs to save the young.

On Thursday, the NPC approved plans for new legislation for Hong Kong that bans “activities” that endanger national security.

The NPC’s Standing Committee will now draft the exact wording of the legislation, before it is added to Annex III of the Basic Law and applied to Hong Kong through promulgation.