Statement of the 712 Foundation in response to National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China’s decision to implement the National Security Law in Hong Kong
While the anti-extradition movement has yet to settled, another wave of social upheaval arose when the Communist Part of China (‘CPC’) tried to implement the ‘Decision of the National People's Congress on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security (Draft)’ (the ‘national security law’) in Hong Kong. By adding the national security law into Annex III of the Basic Law, the CPC could circumvent the law-making process where the bill would be debated and reviewed by elected members of the Legislative Council. This is a complete disregard of the principles of ‘Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong’ and ‘a high degree of autonomy’ enshrined in the Basic Law. During the protest last Sunday (24th), the Hong Kong Police Force once again fired tear gas, pepper balls and mobilized water cannon trucks to disperse the crowd, suppressing those who hold, and are fully entitled to hold, dissenting opinions. The Foundation will stand firmly with our fellow HongKongers on this matter. We strongly oppose to the forceful implementation of the national security law and condemn whoever insist on such implementation.
The very concept of ‘one country, two systems’ places as much stress on the latter part, if not more, as the former. Having two distinct systems enables Hong Kong citizens to enjoy freedom of speech, assembly and press. If the national security law is to be implemented in Hong Kong, our independent legal system which we take pride in would be abused by the future regime and used as a tool to eliminate political opposition, shattering the promise of ‘one country, two systems’. Not only would the implementation of the national security law stunt the development of democracy and human rights in Hong Kong, it would also constitute a serious threat to foreigners and international organizations operating in Hong Kong. In the face of such evil law, white terror has gripped the city - people’s fear for CPC’s mass surveillance and suppression is reflected on the financial system as well as the online platforms. If the CPC decides unilaterally to implement the national security law, ‘one country, two systems’ and ‘Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong’ would eventually become nothing more than a tale. Hong Kong’s status quo in the world would be harmed even more than before.
As the leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has completely failed her people when she gave up on safeguarding the ‘two systems’ between Hong Kong and China. The Hong Kong government has become a puppet of the authoritarian regime. Recently, the Hong Kong Bar Association has questioned Beijing’s legal power to enact the national security law and raised concern as to whether the draft is in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. However, despite the oppositions and skepticisms from the general public, the professionals and even the foreign politicians, Carrie Lam and her government continue to turn a blind eye to the issue. Alongside with the Government’s incompetency, we notice that the pro-establishment camp attempted to justify the implementation of the national security law by claiming that national security laws are a common global practice. This assertion may prima face be true, however, it fails to consider the fact that an elected government and separation of powers shall be the prerequisite of such implementation of the law. Therefore, without a comprehensive check and balance of power, the Hong Kong government and the CPC regime can in no way be compared to their counterparts in other jurisdictions.
Our Foundation strongly urge the regime to stop the suppression on those who treasure freedom and autonomy, to observe its international obligations, and to let Hong Kong people take things back into our own hands. In the face of a tyranny, our Foundation will fight side by side with our fellow HongKongers and speak up against injustice. May glory be to Hong Kong.