The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress unanimously passed the Law on Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Tuesday to effect at 11 pm on Tuesday(2020/6/30). This law consists of 6 chapters and 66 articles, and it is a comprehensive law with substantive law, procedural law and organizational law.
Decree of the President of the People’s Republic of China
The Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Maintenance of National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was adopted by the 20th meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China on June 30, 2020, and is hereby promulgated.
President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping
June 30, 2020
“one country, two systems”
Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said that during the deliberations of the members of the Standing Committee, in accordance with the spirit of the Fourth Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee of the Party, in accordance with the Constitution, the Basic Law of Hong Kong and the relevant decisions of the National People’s Congress, the Standing Committee formulated the Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to maintain national security.
The maintenance of the national security system has made specific arrangements for legalization, standardization, and clarity. The Law fully considers the differences between the two systems and the specific situation of Hong Kong, and is in line with the national laws for the maintenance of national security. It is compatible with Hong Kong’s existing legal system and embodies the principle of “punishing the very few, protecting the majority”. It provides long-term peace and long-term prosperity with Hong Kong. It provides legal support for ensuring the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents according to law, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreigners in Hong Kong and the interests of foreign investors, and ensuring the stability of the “one country, two systems” cause.
Li Zhanshu pointed out that national security, social stability, and the order of the rule of law are the prerequisites for the development of Hong Kong. This time the legislation is popular and follows the general trend. After the implementation of the law on the maintenance of national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, it will resolutely and effectively promote the “one country, two systems” cause. Long-term interests and current interests will also create a safer, stable, harmonious, and convenient social environment for Hong Kong.
The full text of the law gave three scenarios when China might take over a prosecution: complicated foreign interference cases, “very serious” cases and when national security faces “serious and realistic threats”.
“Both the national security agency and Hong Kong can request to pass the case to mainland China and the prosecution will be done by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the trial will be in the Supreme Court,” the law stated.
“No matter whether violence has been used, or the threat of violence used, leaders or serious offenders will be sentenced for life imprisonment or a minimum of 10 years in jail,” it said.
“The Hong Kong government has no jurisdiction over the national security agency in Hong Kong and its staff when they are discharging duties provided in this law,” it added.
The law clearly stipulates the responsibilities for maintaining national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It provides for the crimes of splitting the country, subverting the state power, the crime of terrorist activities, collusion with foreign or foreign forces to endanger national security, and the jurisdiction, application, and procedures of the law. The Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is responsible for maintaining national security agencies and the establishment connected with the national security, legal system, and enforcement mechanism.