Lam heads to Beijing with HK feedback

Top News | Sophie Hui 3 Jun 2020

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will be in Beijing today to present to the central government some readings and reactions from the SAR on the national security law for Hong Kong.

Accompanying her will be Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu, Commissioner of Police Chris Tang Ping-keung and the director of the Chief Executive's Office, Chan Kwok-ki.

Lam headed to Shenzhen last night for a flight to Beijing this morning. She will return to Shenzhen tonight and be back in Hong Kong tomorrow morning.

Answering media questions after a Legislative Council security panel meeting, Lee said he would offer views of a cross section of people to Beijing.

"There are people who support, there are people who do not," he said of the national security law. "Obviously, I will reflect what is happening in Hong Kong and what I have heard."

Lee added: "I'm in charge of the enforcement side, so I will do my best to reflect how law enforcement agencies operate under the common law system, how the collection and presentation of evidence takes place in court, and how some common law principles apply in the adjudication of cases."

Asked how he could reflect SAR opinions on the security law when there is no public consultation in Hong Kong, Lee remarked that legislation is at the national level and the National People's Congress collects public opinion through its website.

On officials the SAR party are meeting in Beijing, Lee noted that was being arranged by the central government.

Speaking before an Executive Council meeting, Lam criticized the United States for what she said are its conflicting messages when it comes to remarks about Hong Kong and its own domestic protests.

She hit at what she said were double standards in some countries' responses to the national security law, saying: "They are very concerned about their own national security, but on our national security they look through tinted glasses."

President Donald Trump said on Friday he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong and that Washington would also sanction individuals from the SAR and mainland who are seen as responsible for eroding autonomy.

But Lam said US sanctions on the SAR would also hurt the United States, which has always enjoyed a trade surplus with Hong Kong.

More than 1,300 US firms have been treated the same as local companies in accessing the mainland market under the Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with China, she said.

Additionally, the SAR had unilaterally granted visa-free access to Americans.

"There is simply no justification whatsoever for any government, any economy to impose sanctions on Hong Kong as a result of a very legitimate process of the central authorities taking this decision to enact laws for Hong Kong to better protect national security," Lam added.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States is also considering the option of welcoming people from Hong Kong to the country. But he did not provide any details.

sophie.hui@singtaonewscorp.com



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