Following the promulgation of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), public order has been restored in Hong Kong and residents can resume their normal daily lives, a senior Hong Kong official said on Friday, addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Teresa Cheng, deputy head of the Chinese delegation and justice secretary of the Hong Kong SAR government, said at the 46th session of the UN body that Hong Kong has now returned to a safe, rational, inclusive, and dynamic.
“In the second half of 2019, due to the unrest, property and facilities were damaged, citizens were arbitrarily attacked, the functioning of the legislature and government was seriously disrupted, and many citizens and police officers were been injured, “she lamented.
She explained that to stop the violent, subversive, and terrorist activities that posed a serious threat to national security, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China adopted the Law on Safeguarding National Security in June 2020.
“Like the national security laws of many countries, it has made secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security a crime. The unrest has since subsided and residents can enjoy their legitimate rights and freedoms, ”she noted.
According to her, Hong Kong residents are now free to travel without fear for their personal safety; vigilantism is no longer in order; people are free to openly express different opinions, and are more respectful of the rights of others while exercising their own.
The National Security Law expressly provides that human rights, such as freedom of expression and assembly, are protected and that legal principles, such as the presumption of innocence, are respected, said Teresa Cheng.
The Safeguarding of National Security Act has restored public order and safeguarded national security in Hong Kong, which has created the conditions necessary to maintain Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability; it also enabled Hong Kong residents to enjoy their rights and freedoms in a safe and peaceful environment, the official said.
These measures are conducive to the development of the rule of law, the protection of human rights, and the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle, and are “in the long term interest of both of the country and of both systems, ”she concluded.