'New law aims to save freedoms, judicial autonomy' - RTHK
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'New law aims to save freedoms, judicial autonomy'

2020-09-16 HKT 11:18
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  • Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung has told the UN rights body that fundamental rights and freedoms remain intact under the Basic Law. Photo courtesy: GIS
    Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung has told the UN rights body that fundamental rights and freedoms remain intact under the Basic Law. Photo courtesy: GIS
The Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung has defended before the UN the national security law imposed by Beijing, saying it seeks to preserve Hong Kong's core values, including rights and freedoms, the rule of law and judicial independence.

The law enacted by Beijing has evoked severe criticism here and abroad, with US President Donald Trump leading the charge. They say the law is in contravention of the One Country, Two Systems principle and erodes Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms.

But Beijing and Hong Kong officials say the law which targets subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces is aimed at restoring peace and stability in the city.

Speaking before the United Nations Human Rights Council overnight on Tuesday as the deputy head of the China delegation, Cheung said the law has been effective in restoring stability in the city.

In a video message, he also said fundamental rights and freedoms remain intact under the Basic Law and the relevant provisions of international covenants as applied to Hong Kong.

The chief secretary urged the international community not to adopt a double standard, saying almost all countries have their own national security laws, and "it is unthinkable therefore that our national security law should be a cause for concern for some countries," he said.

"Hong Kong will continue to forge ahead as a vibrant, open and international financial and business centre, with a prosperous and stable future," Cheung concluded.