'Security law is like a new social contract' - RTHK
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'Security law is like a new social contract'

2020-07-04 HKT 13:02
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  • Basic Law Committee member Albert Chen said people who can comply with the 'minimal' requirement of abiding by the security law can continue living and working in Hong Kong safely. File photo: RTHK
    Basic Law Committee member Albert Chen said people who can comply with the 'minimal' requirement of abiding by the security law can continue living and working in Hong Kong safely. File photo: RTHK
A member of the Basic Law Committee, legal scholar Albert Chen, said in remarks broadcast on Saturday that the new national security law is like a new "social contract" with Beijing that will allow the ‘One Country Two Systems’ principle to continue to be implemented here.

The Hong Kong University law professor said this new ‘contract’ isn’t overly stringent – as it only requires Hong Kong people to refrain from committing the four national security offences stipulated in the law, or overstepping the limits of ‘one country’.

Those willing to accept these 'minimal' conditions can continue living and working safely in the SAR, Chen said on RTHK’s Hong Kong Letter.

The professor said while western countries generally believe that Beijing's imposition of the national security law would strip away human rights and freedoms and damage Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, people shouldn’t ‘simplify’ the matter, but look at it from a historical perspective.

He said the entire ‘One Country Two Systems’ concept appeared to be nearing its end by the conclusion of 2019 following months of protests, and the central government therefore felt the need to act to prevent the SAR from becoming a semi-independent political entity under the influence of Western countries, including the United States.

Chen said since the new law has no retrospective effect, people don't have to worry about getting punished for what they did in the past. He said this will allow society to start afresh.