Beijing will introduce a draft resolution to allow the National People’s Congress to chart legislation for a new national security law tailor-made for Hong Kong that will proscribe secessionist and subversive activity, foreign interference and terrorism in the city, sources have told the Post.
A Beijing source said the new law would ban all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government and external interference in Hong Kong’s affairs. It would also target terrorist acts in the city.
“Some opposition politicians have shut the window for Hong Kong to enact its own national security law,” the source said, referring to the confrontational approach they had adopted towards Beijing.
“If the national security legislation is not done during the annual session of the National People’s Congress or shortly afterwards, is there any guarantee that it can be passed by the Legco in the next two years?” the source said.
However, his work report omitted mention of the principles of “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong” and the city’s “high degree of autonomy”.
Sources have told the Post that a draft of the national security resolution will be shared with delegates on Thursday night and presented as a motion to the NPC, on Friday afternoon.
The NPC is then expected to vote on the resolution at the end of the annual session, likely to be on May 28. The resolution will then be forwarded to the Standing Committee of the NPC to chart out the actual details of the legislation.
“The NPC decision will delegate the NPC Standing Committee to draft the new legislation for Hong Kong, which would be included in Annex III of Hong Kong’s Basic Law,” the source said.
“The new law will be introduced in Hong Kong through promulgation, without the need for local legislation.”
If the process as outlined by sources is confirmed, Hong Kong will finally have national security laws, 23 years after the handover of the city from British to Chinese rule.
It would also mark a significant departure from Beijing’s earlier decision to allow Hong Kong to draft and enact the legislation within its own legislature.
But the law has been in abeyance since 1997. In 2003, the Hong Kong government was forced to shelve a national security bill after an estimated half a million people took to the streets to oppose the legislation, which they warned would curb their rights and freedoms.
Additional reporting by Tony Cheung, Kimmy Chung and William Zheng
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