Strong public support for Article 23 legislation: Tang - RTHK
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Strong public support for Article 23 legislation: Tang

2024-03-05 HKT 13:12
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  • Strong public support for Article 23 legislation: Tang
Security Secretary Chris Tang on Tuesday said the government has received a few hundred more submissions that were posted in time for the close of its consultation on Basic Law Article 23 national security legislation, bringing the total number of submissions to 13,489.

Tang said the percentage of supportive comments remained the same at 98.6 percent, saying this is proof that the vast majority of people support enacting such legislation.

The minister said around half of the 97 opposing comments came from people who didn't include their names.

A quarter of those who did give their names came from "anti-China groups" like Hong Kong Watch and Amnesty International, wanted persons overseas and national security suspects on remand, Tang said.

He said the security law proposals are defensive in nature, describing them as "door locks" for national security and adding that "burglars who want to endanger security surely don't want the locks in place".

The minister also rejected criticism of the proposals from British Foreign Secretary David Cameron who last week called on the SAR government to reconsider plans for the legislation.

Cameron said Britain's security laws are "fully representative of the views of the UK public and have democratic legitimacy."

Tang accused Cameron of double standards, saying the United Nations Charter states that every jurisdiction can formulate its system according to its own conditions, and the UK by no means has a better system than Hong Kong.

The security secretary also accused the US Consul General in Hong Kong, Gregory May, of having double standards after he said American companies have been using burner phones and laptops while operating in the SAR.

Tang said Americans are "experts in illegal tapping" as they even intercept conversations of leaders of other countries.

He said officials are now consolidating the submissions received and will update lawmakers as soon as possible.

"We hear different opinions about whether some of the [legal] definitions can be clear and have more details. We will include all those opinions and see how we can enhance the legislation," Tang told reporters.

Strong public support for Article 23 legislation: Tang