Hong Kong should adopt the national security law for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to deal with emergency situations such as those that may be presented by the Occupy Central movement if the city is not going to enact a legislation based on Article 23 of the Basic Law, Alan Hoo Hon-ching, Basic Law Institute chairman and top barrister, said Tuesday.
As the city has yet to see any draft of the national security law based on Article 23, the Hong Kong government should explain to the public the arrangements that it will provide during emergency situations, Hoo said after guesting at a Commercial Radio Hong Kong program. Hong Kong should provide a clear legal ground for the PLA to maintain order in the city, he said.
Hoo said an Article 23 legislation is a good way to avoid the direct implementation of China’s national security law, which some Hong Kong people have described as a “demon” law. Article 18 clearly states that China’s law will be directly enforced in Hong Kong in times of war.
Hoo’s comments came after Rao Geping, Hong Kong Basic Law Committee member of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and a professor at Peking University, raised the same topic in an interview with a pro-Beijing magazine over the weekend. Rao said the Basic Law’s Article 23 has been demonized for a long time. The city should accelerate efforts to enact the legislation, he said, stressing that it is the city’s responsibility to do so.
If incidents similar to the Taiwanese students’ occupation of the Legislative Yuan happen in Hong Kong, there is legal ground for the central government to implement the national security law in Hong Kong, Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, a lawmaker belonging to the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, said Monday.
Albert Chen Hung-yee, dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong, said the direct implementation of China’s law in Hong Kong will violate the principle of “one country, two systems”. Chen said it is not urgent at all to enact a law implementing Article 23 as there has been no serious national security threat in the city over the last decade.
Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, a New People’s Party LegCo member, said there is no legal ground for the direct implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Tuesday declined to comment on the matter.
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