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HK to be consulted on security law, Carrie Lam says

2020-06-03 HKT 19:11
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  • HK to be consulted on security law, Carrie Lam says
Chief Executive Carrie Lam pledged her administration’s full support and cooperation for Beijing’s plans to impose national security legislation in Hong Kong, as she revealed that central authorities will seek opinions from ‘various sectors’ in the SAR on the new law via forums and other channels.

Lam told reporters she met Vice-Premier Han Zheng – Beijing’s point man on Hong Kong – along with other senior officials for some three hours in the Zhongnanhai complex in the capital on Wednesday, but declined to give full details of what was discussed.

The Minister of Public Security, Zhao Kezhi, was also present.

Lam said Han had stressed that Beijing is “unwavering” in taking forward the security legislation, which he hopes will “comprehensively and accurately" implement the One Country, Two Systems principle here, while safeguarding national security.

She added that the vice-premier had stressed that the law – which is being drawn up by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress – would only punish “a small minority of people” who commit acts that seriously endanger national security, and won’t affect the rights of normal residents here.

The Chief Executive said Beijing would also be inviting various Hong Kong representatives to give their views on the new law via different channels.

Lam said in particular, Legco president Andrew Leung will be asked for his opinions, as will legal experts, and local delegates to the national parliament, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – the nation’s highest-level advisory body.

Central government departments will also be organising forums in Shenzhen and Beijing to hear the views of academics and others.

“I call on all sectors of Hong Kong society to actively participate in these coming opinion-sharing sessions, and use various channels to tell the SAR government and the liaison office as well. We will reflect their views to the central government”, Lam said.

But, pressed on whether she had reflected the views of those opposed to national security legislation during her meeting with the Beijing leaders, Lam said “in this information age, central government officials will be well aware of the views from Hong Kong and abroad on this very important matter.”

“So I don’t believe the Chief Executive has to fly up to Beijing to personally reflect these opinions again.”

Lam also stood by her criticism of foreign leaders who have been speaking out against the planned security law, singling out the United States and the United Kingdom for adopting double standards.

“I can only say that the international community and some of the foreign governments have been adopting blatant double standards in dealing with this matter and commenting on this matter”, Lam said.

“It is within the legitimate jurisdiction of any country to enact laws to protect and safeguard national security. USA is no exception UK is no exception. So why should they object, resist, or even condemn and take sanctions against Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China for taking similar actions?” she queried.

US president Donald Trump has said Washington would begin removing Hong Kong’s special trade privileges, while the UK has said it may give some three million Hongkongers a path to UK citizenship if Beijing forges ahead with the controversial plan.