Hongkongers should not look at China’s national security from the viewpoint of “outsiders”, Tung Chee-hwa said.
The city’s first post-colonial leader said Hong Kong will legislate a national security law one day “for sure”, as required by Article 23 of the Basic Law, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
The Hong Kong government has an obligation to pass such a law, Tung said at a high-profile news conference Tuesday at which he gave his views on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s latest policy address.
Stanley Ng Chau-pei, a deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC) from Hong Kong, recently called for a state security provision to be appended to the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.
Tung, now vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body, said he is no longer with the city’s government and so declined to comment on Ng’s call.
But he emphasized that Beijing had the power to introduce mainland laws into the city.
Turning to the idea of Hong Kong independence, Tung said he believed most Hongkongers would not agree to it.
He said if he were still the chief executive today, he would have done the same as Leung, who in his policy address last week criticized a student publication for allegedly trying to spread the idea.
The article about Hong Kong people deciding their own fate in the Undergrad, the official magazine of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union, did raise concerns, Tung said.
He said Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong can’t be violated in any way and there is no room for compromise in national security.
Students should refrain from calling any criticism of their opinions “white terror”, and they should try to gain a deeper understanding of the mainland before they arrive at any conclusions, Tung said.
Meanwhile, Leung said Tuesday that the government has no plan to legislate Article 23, nor has it done any related studies or made any preparations to do so.
Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said that while the Hong Kong government has an obligation to legislate Article 23, it has not set a time frame for such legislation.
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