Hong Kong government defends national security laws against G7 and EU critique

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20th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today issued a stern rebuke to the G7 foreign ministers and the High Representative of the European Union, accusing them of misrepresenting and maligning the region’s national security laws. The HKSAR Government’s statement aimed to clarify the intentions and implications of the Hong Kong National Security Law and the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance.

A government spokesperson emphasized that ensuring national security is a constitutional responsibility of the HKSAR and a sovereign right recognised under international law, including the United Nations Charter. “Like many jurisdictions globally, including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, Hong Kong has enacted laws that robustly protect national security. The criticisms from the G7 and the EU demonstrate a profound level of political hegemony and double standards,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also highlighted the public support for the legislation, noting that during the consultation phase for the Basic Law Article 23, an overwhelming majority of the feedback supported the provisions, reflecting a strong societal consensus.

Addressing concerns about the impact of the legislation on normal business and international relations, the spokesperson reassured that the law targets only actions that threaten national security with well-defined offences and penalties and does not impede legitimate business activities. “The law explicitly protects the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law and international human rights treaties applicable to Hong Kong,” the spokesperson added.

The HKSAR Government also criticised the G7 and EU for ignoring these protections and accused them of interference in China’s internal affairs. “The enactment of this ordinance has fortified our legal framework, ensuring that Hong Kong can better safeguard its national security against external threats,” the spokesperson remarked.

Concluding, the spokesperson reiterated that the primary intent of the Sino-British Joint Declaration was the resumption of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong and did not grant the UK any rights over Hong Kong post-handover. The HKSAR Government pledged to continue its efforts to uphold national security to foster a stable and prosperous business environment and ensure the region’s long-term stability.