China’s new national security law would not apply to Hong Kong as it is merely “framework legislation”, Basic Law vice-chairwoman Elsie Leung Oi-sie said today. The remarks by the former secretary for justice came a day after the national legislature passed the sweeping and controversial legislation, which critics worried could curb civil liberties and basic freedoms in the city, But Leung dismissed fears that the law would pose a threat to Hongkongers. “The national security law is not going to apply to Hong Kong as it is not included in Annex 3 [of the Basic Law],” said Leung, after attending the regular meeting of the think tank Our Hong Kong Foundation, led by former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa. “It is just a framework legislation.” Article 18 of the Basic Law says “national laws shall not be applied in Hong Kong” except for those listed in Annex 3 of the mini-constitution, while those which can be added to Annex 3 are confined to defence, foreign affairs and other matters outside the limits of Hong Kong’s autonomy. The city’s mini-constitution had its own provision on national security law, Leung said, referring to Article 23, which states that the Hong Kong government shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, or subversion against the central government. On political reform, Leung said Beijing was still positive on the matter despite the pro-establishment lawmakers’ bungled walkout which left the proposed election method for the 2017 chief executive poll with only eight “yes” votes. “The result of the electoral reform is not unexpected,” she said, adding Hongkongers now had a clearer understanding of “one country, two systems” and the Basic Law through the process. She described the botched walkout as a mere “side issue” and declined to comment on whether the three Executive Council members – Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung and Starry Lee Wai-king – who failed to cast their vote in Legco should resign. She also said the government could still trigger a new round of reform depending on the city’s situation, but added there would be “no opportunity” if activists insist voters should have the right to name chief executive hopefuls – a demand Beijing has dismissed.