Law 'meant' to cut terror risk, stabilize business climate

Top News | Jane Cheung 26 May 2020

The proposed national security law will help reduce Hong Kong's risks of a terrorist attack and create a stable and sustainable environment for investment, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah says.

In the past year, violence during protests had deterred foreign visitors worrying about their safety, Yau said.

"In meeting with many chambers and international interlocutors, while they expressed concern about Hong Kong in general, they also expressed their concern on whether [the SAR] will continue to be a safe city, which is a very important element in supporting international businesses in Hong Kong," Yau said.

The draft national security law could help ease businessmen's minds that Hong Kong would be able to "cope with the situation, to avoid social unrest, particularly those arising from activities that amount to terrorist activities."

He also told a Legislative Council economic development panel that "the national security law will lower risks of jeopardizing public order and safety, including terrorist attacks."

A government spokesman yesterday rejected criticism by foreign politicians over the decision by the National People's Congress to enact the national security law for Hong Kong. He said every country has a right and duty to protect national security and sovereignty.

"To suggest that our sovereign, China, does not have the right to legislate to protect national security in [Hong Kong] smacks of double standards and hypocrisy," he said.

"Much of the criticism ... is no more than alarmist speculation and innuendo that completely ignores the constitutional reality that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China."

The spokesman said the law will target only acts of secession, subversion, terrorist activities and foreign interference with the SAR's internal affairs and law-abiding people and overseas investors have nothing to fear.

Meanwhile, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu and heads of six disciplinary forces - police, Correctional Services Department, customs, Immigration Department, Fire Services Department and Government Flying Service - are united in supporting the law.

The United States has threatened to impose sanctions on China by invoking the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act if the central government pushes forward with the law.

jane.cheung@singtaonewscorp.com

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