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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:01pm

Basic Law

The Basic Law was drafted as part of the Sino-British Joint Declaration covering Hong Kong after its handover to China on July 1, 1997. The joint declaration stated that Hong Kong would be governed under the principle of ‘one country-two systems’ and would continue to enjoy its capitalist system and individual freedoms for 50 years after the handover.

NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong 'should adopt national security law until own version is ready'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 4:54am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 April, 2014, 8:06am

Mainland academics have suggested that Hong Kong temporarily implement the nation's security laws until it legislates its own version.

Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing was "shocked" by the proposal and said it would be inconsistent with the Basic Law, adding that he did not believe it represented the views of the central government.

The idea was put forward in the latest issue of the Beijing-loyalist Bauhinia Magazine.

An article cited Peking University law professor Rao Geping as saying that mainland academics wanted the security laws applied in Hong Kong until the city enacted anti-subversion legislation in line with Article 23 of the city's mini-constitution.

"I am a bit shocked," Tsang said yesterday. "Article 23 of the Basic Law states that the SAR government should enact laws on its own to deal with the crime of subversion [against the central government].

"Any national laws that are to apply in Hong Kong are listed in Annex 3 of the Basic Law, and obviously, the national security law is not there. Rao should further explain his words."

Article 23 requires Hong Kong to pass laws prohibiting acts of "treason, secession, sedition or subversion" against the central government. It was the trigger for a 2003 protest by half a million people who saw such legislation as a threat to the rights and freedoms of Hongkongers. The march forced the government to shelve its plan.

In the April 1 issue of Bauhinia, Rao said Article 23 legislation had been "demonised" since 2003. Rao, quoting mainland academics, said Hong Kong should introduce the mainland's national security law on a trial basis until Article 23 legislation was passed. Rao said yesterday the proposal was not his.

The Security Bureau said the government was focused on livelihood issues and had no plan yet to pass an Article 23 bill.

Last month Rao explicitly ruled out public nomination of candidates for the 2017 chief executive election. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Rao's comment had set the "definitive tone" of the debate over the issue.

Academics objected to that comment, made during the ongoing public consultation on political reform. Lam then said the government was still "genuine and sincere" about the consultation.

In March last year, Rao, a member of the Basic Law Committee, said Hongkongers should not ignore their obligation to enact national security legislation even as they pushed for universal suffrage.

In January, fellow committee member Professor Wang Zhenmin called for Article 23 to be implemented after advocates of independence broke into the PLA's headquarters in Admiralty.


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This article is now closed to comments

This shows the 'quality' of Rao's legal analysis and his complete ignorance of the concept of the Rule of Law! Clearly this man has been appointed as a member of the Basic Law Committee because of his willingness to be an empty mouthpiece - definitely not for any intellectual ability.
Beijing and co. has repeatedly insists on adherence with the Basic Law on all issues so its really shocking to hear a law professor uttering something like that. How can Beijing convince people that they will honour their pledges when we have people like Rao uttering such nonsense.
The next time the clowns match with colonial HK flags
HKSAR government should arrest them
and press two charges:
(1) the common law offence of outraging public decency, and
(2) relevant statutory offences under various sections of Cap 200
These charges should end up in CFA
which expectedly won’t be sure of one way or another
then it should follow its own precedence in “W” (FACV 2/2012)
and “propose to suspend the operation of (whatever orders
it could think of) for the period of 12 months from the date of judgment
to enable consideration to be given to possible legislation”
CFA should also rule that “it would be distinctly preferable
for the legislature to introduce legislation similar to PRC’s relevant statures”
Then HKSAR citizens would have our constitutional right
promised under BL Art 23 actualized in a proper manner
Meanwhile the relevant national law may be fairly adopted
to cover HKSAR's current legislative deficit
A city of RoL can’t tolerate legal vacuum
in a salient part of our corporate being
Cap 200 exposes the sad joke of the city’s statutory backwardness
Of course Rao was just trying to scare us - better get Art 23 ready fast, or else.....
The alternative is indeed unsavoury, but might become a reality if nothing is done soon here.
The subversion laws are needed in light of the growing US interference in China's affairs and the region. The US and the West have always used HK as a base for their espionage activities, it craves to see the democrats in power and use this place to create instability in China.
The more the US cranks up its "democracy and freedom" propaganda and sides with Japan and the Phillipines in the islands dispute as Anson Chan and Martin Lee merrily takes their gig to Washington, the tighter the rein will be on Hong Kong. Much is at stake than just arguments about implementing Art 23 in this former colony.
Typical. If at first you cannot inspire trust, loyalty and confidence in the people you govern, then use force to keep the people from opposing you.
If you do not want to sing and dance with us, then you will not sing at all and can just dance like a puppet.
Jtsang should read BL Art 18 in full before mouthing
"Any national laws that are to apply in Hong Kong
are listed in Annex 3 of the Basic Law”


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