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Interference made new law for Hong Kong necessary

By Margaret Chan Fung Fu-Chun | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-07-16 10:08
The Chinese national flags and flags of the Hong Kong SAR flutter in Hong Kong. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has won overwhelming support from the Chinese, including a majority of Hong Kong residents and numerous people around the world, as well as many countries.

Only a handful of Western governments oppose China's efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, national security and development interest with a purpose-built legal system and matching enforcement mechanisms in the HKSAR.

These Western governments are led by a few politicians obsessed with meddling in the internal affairs of the HKSAR in recent years. Their wanton interference is the primary reason the national security law was introduced.

Let no one assume China needs any foreign government's approval to exercise its sovereign rights and power. And let no one forget that each and every one of those Western countries has its own national security law (s), especially the one widely seen as the "leader of the free world", which has a pile of laws (acts) designed to boost its national security and therefore give the government unlimited authority.

Talk about double standards and hypocrisy. Their opposition to the new law has further convinced China, including Hong Kong residents, of the need to enforce the national security law effectively in the HKSAR.

Since July 1, 1997, the HKSAR has been a victim of constant abuse in the form of interference by the very Western governments that have been systematically and methodically undermining and sabotaging China's sovereignty, national security and development interests.

Such interference remained subtle in the early years but has been gaining in severity in recent years when it is obvious that the "one country, two systems" principle is key to the HKSAR's stability and prosperity.

Some Western powers increasingly believe that it is in their geopolitical interest to contain China's development by messing up Hong Kong or helping their local proxies to take control of the region.

Article 23 of Hong Kong's Basic Law stipulates that the HKSAR shall fulfill its constitutional obligation to safeguard national security through local legislation.

The first-term HKSAR government introduced national security legislation according to Article 23 back in 2003 but was forced to withdraw it in the wake of mass protests organized by the opposition camp, which was supported and manipulated by external forces.

The same Western governments that are taking issue with the new national security law have been behind all the instances of political upheavals and social unrest in Hong Kong in the past two decades.

This interference has inflicted tremendous economic losses and trampled upon many local residents' individual rights for far too long. Ironically, these Western governments have consistently backed such illegal acts in the name of "democracy", "rights" or "freedom".

The central government of the PRC has steadfastly maintained its rightful standing on safeguarding the sovereignty, national security and development interests of the country and strongly condemned the blatant interference by those Western powers in Hong Kong affairs over the years.

It took the step of making the new national security law to plug national security loopholes in Hong Kong only recently-precisely because those Western powers' meddling in Hong Kong had gone too far and public demand for immediate introduction of such a law reached a boiling point on the Chinese mainland as well as in Hong Kong.

The vandalism perpetrated by the black-shirt rioters has brought insecurity to Hong Kong, and its people have suffered unbearable hardship and misery in the past year. That is why public support for the new law has been so swift and overwhelming since the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, announced the legislative move in late May.

A great majority of Hong Kong residents are law-abiding citizens who want peace and order in their hometown more than anything else so they can pursue development and a better life without fear.

In addition, the new national security law has been well received by most countries around the world as well as the international business community, which wants a stable, secure and safe investment environment.

At least 73 countries explicitly expressed at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva their support for China in safeguarding its national security with a law made for implementation in Hong Kong, which is an inalienable part of China.

The few countries that opposed the new law are allies of the Western powers whose interference in Hong Kong has gone too far and has pushed China to take action to protect its interests. Once again, the Western powers' track record of double standard and hypocrisy was exposed nakedly in front of the whole world.

The author is former director-general of the World Health Organization. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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