In this July 12, 2018 file photo, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attends a LegCo session in Hong Kong. Enacting local national security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law has always been the special administrative region government’s duty, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Aug 28, 2018. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
Enacting local national security legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law has always been the special administrative region government’s duty, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Tuesday.
Safeguarding national security and territorial integrity is a constitutional duty for any chief executive or government official in the Hong Kong SAR, Lam said
She made the remarks after Vice-Premier Han Zheng urged Hong Kong’s Disciplined Services to “firmly” safeguard national security and the rule of law during a meeting in Beijing on Monday.
“My stance is clear that the legislation work is a task that cannot be avoided,” Lam said. Safeguarding national security and territorial integrity is a constitutional duty for any chief executive or government official in the Hong Kong SAR, Lam said.
Noting that there is some wariness about the legislation among Hong Kong society, Lam said the government will adopt a prudent approach and work to form a suitable social environment to launch the legislative process.
“Our primary responsibility is to find the right opportunity and create the necessary conditions for us to put into effect the local legislation (on Article 23 of the Basic Law),” Lam said.
On the same day, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu told the press that Han stressed during the meeting with a delegation of the Hong Kong Disciplined Services in Beijing that the central government maintains its stance of zero tolerance of any attempts seeking Hong Kong independence.
The central government supports the Hong Kong SAR authorities to handle issues relating to Hong Kong independence in accordance with the law, Lee said during his official visit to Beijing, relaying remarks of Han, the central government’s top official for Hong Kong and Macao affairs.
Han also expressed his expectation that Hong Kong’s Disciplined Services will assume their duty to ensure full and faithful implementation of the “one country, two systems” and protect national security, Lee said.
Across the Pearl River Estuary, the Macao SAR on Monday set up a national security commission. The commission, to be chaired by Macao Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on, is a mechanism aimed at helping the CE make decisions and coordinate the work of SAR government departments concerning national security issues.
Yang Zekun contributed to the story.
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