Carrie Lam exclusive: Central govt to help HKSAR come out of the woods
Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the SAR government fully supports the central government's decision to institute national security laws for the city.
Lam made the remarks during an exclusive interview with China Media Group (CMG).
It hurts to see what happened last year in the Asian financial hub, Lam said, adding she's confident that the decision will help plug loopholes in the city and safeguard Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.
The National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, on May 28 overwhelmingly adopted a decision on the legislation of national security laws for Hong Kong.
"I felt at ease after the decision was made," Lam told CMG, as is difficult for the HKSAR Legislative Council (LegCo) to fulfill its legal responsibility of enacting relevant laws since Hong Kong's return to China.
So, what the central government has done will help invigorate the city out of dilemma otherwise the economy and livelihoods will be badly affected, Lam underscored.
However, there is already public outcry and international reaction against it even as the specific details are yet to be fleshed out. Based on the situation, Lam said opposition to the national security laws for Hong Kong is unsubstantiated.
She also accused the Hong Kong Bar Association of wrongly claiming that the NPC has undermined HKSAR's autonomy and violated Article 18 of the Basic Law in terms of creating laws.
"An acting national security legislation is always the proactive of the central government, regardless of whether that particular country practices unitary type of government or federal type of government."
When asked to comment on the U.S. sanctions against Hong Kong, Lam said the city has confidence to resist unreasonable threats and is not afraid of foreign sanctions and threats.
Lam also hit back at the United States and some other Western countries that alleged the national security laws are a blow to Hong Kong's democracy and freedom.
"The West adopts double standards," she said, stressing that no country will allow other countries to carry out activities endangering national security in its own territory.
Lam noted that Hong Kong's GDP in 2019 posted its first negative growth in 10 years, adding the priority is to push the economy back on track after the city restores peace and stability in the near future.
As she is scheduled to visit Beijing on Wednesday to discuss the national security laws, Lam said she has great expectations from the central government.