BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Establishing and improving at the national level the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security will lay a solid institutional foundation for the steady and enduring growth of the cause of "one country, two systems," said a central government spokesperson on Friday.
A draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security was submitted to the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) for deliberation on Friday.
"It is very timely, imperative and important for the NPC to make the decision," the spokesperson of the State Council Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office said in a statement.
Article 23 of the Basic Law of the HKSAR stipulates that the HKSAR shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the HKSAR, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the HKSAR from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.
"Nearly 23 years after Hong Kong's return, however, relevant laws are yet to materialize," the spokesperson said.
The deficiencies of institutional setup, resources and power allocation of the HKSAR government in safeguarding national security have led to a rare de facto "defenseless" status in the field of national security in the HKSAR, according to the statement.
The spokesperson highlighted the increasingly grave national security situation in the HKSAR in recent years, especially the unrest following the proposed ordinance amendments last year, noting that these illegal activities have seriously challenged the bottom line of the "one country, two systems" principle and harmed national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.
Legislation on national security belongs to the national legislative power, the statement read. It is an inevitable choice and justified move for the NPC, the highest organ of state power, to exercise the power enshrined in the Constitution to make the related decision and authorize the NPC Standing Committee to enact related laws.
Safeguarding national security is the essence of "one country, two systems," the spokesperson said, noting that "one country" is the prerequisite for "two systems," while "two systems" is subordinate to and derived from "one country."
"The most important requirement of 'one country' is to safeguard national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity," the spokesperson added.
The NPC's authorization to the NPC Standing Committee to make follow-up legislation through the proposed decision only targets acts of secession, subversion and terrorism, as well as activities conducted by foreign and overseas forces interfering in HKSAR affairs, the spokesperson said, adding that it will not affect any of the legitimate rights or freedom enjoyed by Hong Kong residents, including the freedom of procession, of assembly, of speech and of the press; rather, they will enable Hong Kong residents to better exercise their legitimate rights and freedom in a safe environment.
The interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong will continue to be protected in accordance with law, the spokesperson said.