Beijing will be monitoring how Hong Kong implements its controversial new national security law through a powerful new agency here that has the right to take control of certain cases, and won’t be under Hong Kong’s jurisdiction while carrying out investigations.
The new Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government (CPG) in the HKSAR is responsible for “overseeing, guiding, coordinating with and providing support to the HKSAR in the performance of its duties for safeguarding national security”, a government statement said.
This includes analysing and assessing what’s happening here, along with intelligence sharing.
The mainland-funded office comprises of officers from various mainland security bodies.
While Article 50 of the new law states that staff of the office must comply with both national and local laws, Article 60 specifies that they are not under Hong Kong’s jurisdiction when carry out their duties under the national security law.
That means that staff, and even their vehicles should not be subject to checks by Hong Kong law enforcement officers.
Local government departments are to cooperate with the office in carrying out their duties, and the local government should stop any acts that hinder the agency’s work.
Members of the public too must give their assistance, in the form of witness statements if they know anything about the cases under investigation, the law says.
The agency has the authority to take over jurisdiction of national security cases in specific circumstances, like when the local government cannot effectively enforce the law, or when the threat to national security is deemed to be serious.
New mainland agency given wide powers in new law
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