Establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of China is not only necessary but also urgent, a renowned Singaporean attorney has said.
Lawmakers have been deliberating a draft decision on national security legislation for Hong Kong at the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.
Chung Ting Fai, founder of the Chung Ting Fai & Co Advocates and Solicitors, a law firm in Singapore, made his comments in a recent interview with Xinhua.
In the past several months, there have been local and foreign anti-China forces sabotaging Hong Kong's security and people's safety and properties, he said.
"Some Hong Kong residents or visitors were beaten up and even been set on fire; quite a number of restaurants and shops were vandalized; public transportation was blocked," which has not only damaged Hong Kong's international image, but also threatened and disrupted Hong Kong residents' normal lives, said Chung.
"No country in the world would tolerate these kinds of atrocities," said Chung, who lived in Hong Kong before moving to Singapore with his family at the age of 10.
Therefore, the evolvement of the situation in Hong Kong spells a need and urgency of the legislation on national security, so as to maintain Hong Kong's rule of law, safeguard Hong Kong's security, stability and prosperity, and protect the basic rights and freedom of its people, he said.
In line with the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, the NPC is entitled to such kind of legislation, which is within the framework of the Basic Law, Chung stressed.
For Hong Kong, administrated under the "one country, two systems" principle, "one country" is the prerequisite, without which the "two systems" would have no base, he said.
Chung quoted Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying that the draft decision "does not affect the high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong. It does not affect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents. And it does not affect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong."
In fact, maintaining stability and rule of law in Hong Kong is vital for its roles as the global trade and financial hubs, said Chung, who is also director of the Hong Kong Singapore Business Association.
The legislation on China's national security at an early date would help to guarantee Hong Kong's stability and rule of law, which is in the best interests of investors and traders there, and would also reconsolidate Hong Kong's roles in the international arena, said Chung.