HK national security legislation will thwart color revolution attempts
Editor's note: China's legislature, the National People's Congress, approved the proposal for enacting national security legislation in Hong Kong on Thursday. Lawrence Ma, executive council chairman of the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation, shares his views on why this step was taken. Opinions expressed in the video are his and do not necessarily reflect those of CGTN.
CGTN: China's National People's Congress (NPC) has approved a proposal on national security legislation for Hong Kong. Why was this step taken?
Ma: Because of the color revolution, you've seen waves and waves of color revolutions coming to Hong Kong since the 2014 “Occupy Central” movement. That was during the Obama administration and then in the 2019 “Anti-Extradition Bill” movement, and you can see that the scale is larger, there are more people and the funding is more – more money coming in. The degree of violence is more serious, and you see waves and waves of these color revolutions coming in to topple the government, to destabilize the government and to make sure it cannot rule.
There is a legal vacuum in Hong Kong. Article 23 has always been in Hong Kong unenacted. Therefore there is a legal vacuum. In order to fill that legal vacuum, the National People's Congress (NPC) has to make a move.
CGTN: What legal basis does the NPC have for proposing the legislation?
Ma: So, under the Chinese Constitution, under Article 57, the NPC has the ultimate sovereign power to design matters and do or act on things for the People's Republic of China. And under Article 58 of the Chinese Constitution, the NPC, which is the National People's Congress and the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, both of them have the highest legislative power of the country. So, with respect to legislation, issuing and writing laws, the National People's Congress Standing Committee and the National People's Congress has the ultimate power. So, the constitutionality and the legal legitimacy of the upcoming national security law of Hong Kong is derived from Article 57 and Article 58 of the Chinese Constitution.
CGTN: What is the sentiment in Hong Kong now?
Ma: Of course, people's feelings are divided. For those who come out to protest and conduct riots, although they are a minority, there are people. Those people would not like the law. The law is to restrict and to restrain their conduct. The law is there to prohibit them from carrying on what they have been doing – their riotous activities and their illegal activities. So, those people that the law is targeting will not be happy.
But the great majority of Hong Kong citizens who are not rioters, who are ordinary citizens, who want to have a decent living, want to go to work, go to study and do their businesses and have a good income. Those people would appreciate, particularly those retail shops that have been under tremendous pressure, and some of them have been demolished or otherwise damaged because of these rioters' activities. Those people would be appreciative of this new coming national security law.
CGTN: Some say this law will end the "One Country, Two Systems" arrangement. What do you think?
Ma: No, definitely not. The Basic Law is still here, strongly, fully enforced, fully honored. I mean the Basic Law, every article of it is here, we have our own legal system. We have our own administrative system. We have our own legislative system. We have our own separate system of banking. We have our own currency. We have our own shipping laws and admiralty laws. And we have our freedom of expression and rights protection in four chapters. So, I would tell ordinary Hong Kong citizens, 'You'll live ordinary days, your days could not be any different.' But for those who wanted to say or vouch for separatism, for those who want to vouch for secession and sedition. I think they would have a concern.
Interviewer: Xu Sicong
Video editing: Liu Shasha
Senior producer: Bi Jianlu
Managing director: Mei Yan
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