2021 Two Sessions

NPC to safeguard order in HK

Updated: Mar 9, 2021 By CAO YIN CHINA DAILY Print
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Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, delivers the committee work report at the second plenary meeting of the fourth session of the 13th NPC in Beijing on Monday. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

Tools will be developed against 'foreign sanctions, interference', to handle risks

After a busy 2020, China's top legislature has made itself an even busier schedule this year with legislation focusing on safeguarding the Constitution and key sectors such as external affairs, national security and public health.

The National People's Congress will continue to perform its legally mandated duties and provide legal safeguards for ensuring constitutional order in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, said on Monday.

"We'll safeguard constitutional order in the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao as stipulated in China's Constitution and the respective basic laws of the two regions, and will work to ensure that the principle of 'one country, two systems' is firmly upheld over the long term," he said while delivering a work report of the committee to the NPC plenary meeting.

"We'll also upgrade our legal tool kit for meeting challenges and guarding against risks in order to oppose foreign sanctions, interference and long-arm jurisdiction," he said. "This way, we'll develop a more complete system of laws and regulations related to external affairs."

The fourth session of the 13th NPC started its second plenary meeting on Monday afternoon. President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, and other Chinese leaders attended the meeting.

Li said the NPC would make a decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong SAR during its ongoing annual session.

The NPC Standing Committee will also make revisions to the related law on the basis of the decision as part of a package of legal measures to ensure constitutional order and the rule of law in Hong Kong.

The top legislator said the disturbances that occurred in Hong Kong in 2019 over proposed revisions to an extradition bill had a severe impact on the rule of law and public order. They also presented a serious challenge to the principle of "one country, two systems".

After the decision on establishing a sound legal system and implementation mechanism for the Hong Kong SAR to safeguard national security was adopted at the third session of the 13th NPC, the NPC Standing Committee acted swiftly. It enacted the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR. It also adopted a decision for Hong Kong's sixth Legislative Council to continue to discharge its duties and a decision on issues relating to the qualifications for members of the Legislative Council.

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