The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) took effect at 11 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
The promulgation of the law was signed by HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam and published in the Gazette, according to a statement of the HKSAR government, Xinhua news agency reported.
The law was passed at the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC). The NPC Standing Committee consulted the HKSAR Basic Law Committee and the HKSAR government and listed the law in Annex III to the HKSAR Basic Law.
The law was formulated according to the Constitution, the Basic Law and an NPC decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security.
The national security law seeks to prevent, curb and punish crimes seriously endangering national security, namely secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security, an HKSAR government spokesman said.
The spokesman said the law only targets an extremely small group of offenders while the life and property as well as various legitimate basic rights and freedoms enjoyed by the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents will be protected.
There is nothing for Hong Kong residents to worry about in exercising these legitimate rights, the spokesman said.
In order to effectively discharge their duties, the police and the Department of Justice of the HKSAR government have earlier made preparations for the establishment of dedicated units, the spokesman said, adding that the police will establish a dedicated National Security Department on July 1 to handle the relevant work.
The Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR chaired by the Chief Executive will be set up as soon as possible to take up the major responsibility of safeguarding national security in the HKSAR, the spokesman said.