China reiterates HK's 'high degree of autonomy' after decision on national security law
China reiterated Hong Kong's "high degree of autonomy" after its top legislature on Thursday adopted a draft decision on national security legislation for the special administrative region (SAR).
"The central government will continue to support the administration of the HKSAR chief executive," said Premier Li Keqiang when meeting the press after the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) concluded on Thursday afternoon in Beijing.
"We will still follow the principle of Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong," Li stressed.
The national security legislation aims to improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the SAR, targeting radical activities and foreign interference.
The process to draft the law is expected to take a few months.
The legislation came after a series of widespread protests embroiled Hong Kong, with violent demonstrations swamping and almost paralyzing parts of the city last year.
A move towards Hong Kong's long-term prosperity
Hours after the draft decision was approved, both the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR and the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council voiced their support.
"The bill stands as a system preservation for the vast number of Hong Kong residents," said a spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
A spokesperson with the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR echoed the point, vowing to deliver suggestions from the Hong Kong people. "We hope the legislation can be established as fast as possible," the spokesperson said.