By: Nandika Chand
Freedom and Security are two sides of the same coin which is reason enough to why security is often wrongly perceived as limiting one’s freedom. The most recent example being the Hong Kong National Security Law. The law is extremely important as it would ban treason, secession, sedition and subversion.
The law guarantees both safety and freedom and it will make sure that the vast majority of people in Hong Kong would have restored peace and order in the city and better protected their rights and freedoms from negative elements, such as those who collided with foreign powers.
The National People’s Congress (NPC) endorsed the resolution on the security bill with 2,878 votes in favour, one against, and six abstentions. Here was a massive win for a brave and bold law supported by the representatives. NPC Chairman Li Zhanshu told delegates during the closing ceremony that it will uphold and improve the ‘one country, two systems’ policy.
A national security bill ‘For’ Hong Kong
The law is essential for tackling growing violence and “terrorism,” and to make sure that the residents of the territory have nothing to fear from it.
The new national security law for Hong Kong is meant to strengthen, not undermine, the “one country, two systems” principle and will ensure the freedoms granted to the city can be extended beyond 2047. It is expected to criminalise:
Secession – breaking away from the country
Subversion – undermining the power or authority of the central government
Terrorism – using violence or intimidation against people
And the activities by foreign forces that interfere in Hong Kong. The resolution also says that “when needed, relevant national security organs of the Central People’s Government will set up agencies in Hong Kong to fulfil relevant duties to safeguard national security in accordance with the law”.
What is happening with the law?
I believe that the law is in line with the constitution and Hong Kong’s Basic Law and is in the interest of all Chinese people including Hong Kong. The law is an internal affair and a brave attempt by the government. There are rights, set out in the Basic Law which is the mini-constitution of Hong Kong, have been in effect since the United Kingdom handed them over to China in 1997. The Basic Law grants the territory certain rights, such as the right to protest which does not
exist on the mainland. Hong Kong’s freedoms, vibrancy and core values will remain untouched and not damage the status of Hong Kong as a global financial centre.
Outlook: Hong Kong Business Community
Like most economies, it is imperative for Hong Kong to have a national security law. There is a significant majority, especially in the business community – which is, of course, more conservative – that accepts that we should have a security law at some point.
The law is imperative to maintain national security in the region. Even as suggested by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the businesses surveyed recently were largely positive about the impact of the national security legislation for Hong Kong over the long run.
In the chamber’s survey on the impact of the national security legislation for Hong Kong, a majority of respondents, 61 per cent, believe the law will either have a positive impact or no impact at all on their businesses over the long term. More than 2,000 artists including Jackie Chan, whose industry was also upended by street protests for much of 2019, have also voiced their support for the law last week.
Most economies have national security legislation in place and Hong Kong was to draft and pass one under the Mini-Constitution of the territory, the Basic Law.
The law is extremely important to Hong Kong as there have been acts of terrorism in Hong Kong, and what matters to China are issues such like secession; we are seeing people holding flags asking for Hong Kong independence, we are seeing signs where people will actually want to subvert state power or against the Central People’s Government and clearly, we also see there is meddling from foreign countries, foreign influences! This law is necessary to maintain the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong.
Artists, Businesses and Commerce in Hong Kong focus on the importance of this law. While the foreign media and governments constantly try to influence the people of Hong Kong, the real impact can only be made by the national media and people: Security is what ensures freedom.
Hong Kong connects Asia to the world and it has been celebrated for its foundation of robust regulatory frameworks, industry expertise, the flow of art and culture within the pillars of an enterprising economy and strong finance. The National Security Law is uniquely positioned to connect people, business, trade, ideas and entrepreneurship in the most prominent Asian global city, taking Asia to the world.