You are here

RSS list

2024

08/06/2024
The Department of Justice (DoJ) today held the National Security Legal Forum, inviting a number of senior government officials, internationally renowned legal experts and academics to share their insights on national security issues. Such issues included the implementation and development of jurisprudence of the National Security Law (NSL) as well as the "dual legislation and dual enforcement mechanism" institutional safeguard constituted along with the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance (SNSO). In addition, panel discussions among representatives from the financial and business sectors, and the interactive session between the Secretary for Justice and young people were held to enable members from different sectors to have a better understanding of national security. The objective of holding such activities is to help dispel misconceptions on the laws on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong and encourage the public to be more proactive and conscious in safeguarding national security. With the theme of “Looking Back and Ahead, New Dawn for Development”, the event attracted about 1,000 guests and participants attending. The forum invited two officials from the central authorities to deliver keynote speeches, including CCP Central Committee Hong Kong & Macao Work Office Deputy Director and State Council Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office Deputy Director Nong Rong, and National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Basic Law Committee Vice Chairperson and NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission Deputy Director Zhang Yong. Chief Executive John Lee delivered opening remarks at forum. Also delivering opening remarks were Director of the Central People's Government (CPG) Liaison Office in the Hong Kong SAR Zheng Yanxiong, Head of the CPG Office for Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong SAR Dong Jingwei, Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong SAR Cui Jianchun, and Secretary for Justice Paul Lam. While addressing those gathered at the forum, Mr Lee said that safeguarding national security is the Government’s responsibility as well as the obligation of the whole community of Hong Kong. He pointed out that Hong Kong had finally completed the local legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law in March this year, marking an important milestone in the city’s new journey from stability to prosperity. The NSL and the SNSO will be compatible and complementary, giving full play to the institutional advantages of “dual legislation and dual enforcement mechanism”, ensuring that Hong Kong can focus on creating a more prosperous and better home without worries, Mr Lee added. Mr Lam stressed that it is of crucial importance to build and reinforce the confidence of all sectors in the laws on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong, which was enacted and implemented strictly in accordance with the rule of law principle, and will have positive interaction with Hong Kong’s future development. The DoJ will, in collaboration with relevant bureaus and departments, continue to promote and enhance education on the laws on safeguarding national security and other topics related to Hong Kong’s legal system and the rule of law through various means, so as to strengthen the trust of the public, and enhance their willingness to respect and obey the law as a matter of course, Mr Lam added. There were four panel sessions during the forum. In the first one, legal experts and academics reviewed the practical experience, development of jurisprudence and theoretical achievements of the NSL in light of previous case laws. The second session illustrated how the SNSO, following its implementation, works in tandem with the NSL to fully leverage on the strengths of the “dual legislation and dual enforcement mechanism”, so as to effectively respond to national security risks. In the third session, representatives from the financial and business sectors shared their views on how the Hong Kong SAR’s legal infrastructure for safeguarding national security creates a more stable environment for different sectors, and creates favourable conditions for the high-quality development of the Hong Kong SAR. In the final session “Chat with SJ”, Mr Lam discussed with the audience and student representatives how national security is relevant to daily life, and the important role of youth in safeguarding national security.
07/06/2024
Two non-permanent judges from other common law jurisdictions of the Court of Final Appeal (CFA), Lord Collins of Mapesbury and Lord Sumption, have tendered their resignations, the Judiciary said. Chief Executive John Lee expressed regret over the resignations of Lords Collins and Sumption and noted that Lord Collins had stated he continued to "have the fullest confidence in the court and the total independence of its members". On the statement by Lord Collins that he had resigned because of the political situation in Hong Kong, Mr Lee stressed that the large-scale riots and Hong Kong version of “colour revolution” in 2019 seriously threatened national security and the safety of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. To plug the loophole of Hong Kong's near-vacuum of national security laws at the time, Mr Lee explained that the central government promulgated and implemented the Hong Kong National Security Law, while the Hong Kong SAR completed the legislation on Article 23 of the Basic Law enacting the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. He added that the provisions of the Basic Law, the security law and the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance all explicitly stipulate that the rights and freedoms under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as applied to Hong Kong are to be protected in accordance with the law. They include the freedoms of speech, of the press, of publication, of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration. The Chief Executive said that since its return to the motherland, the political system of Hong Kong has been under a comprehensive institutional arrangement under the Basic Law. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China and the systems and powers of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches are clearly stated in the Basic Law, he added. “The rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people, including those stipulated in the ICCPR, the ICESCR and international labour conventions, are also clearly stated in the Basic Law. These systems have remained unchanged since the promulgation and implementation of the Basic Law, and will not change in the future. “As reiterated by President Xi Jinping in his important speeches, 'there is no reason for us to change such a good policy, and we must adhere to it in the long run'." Noting that Hong Kong has transitioned from chaos to order, Mr Lee stated that the transition did not change the human rights and freedoms enjoyed by citizens in accordance with the law. “Nor did it change the courts' exercise of independent judicial power, free from any interference. “The only difference is that national security is now better safeguarded, the safety and stability of Hong Kong is now better upheld, and citizens' good living and working environment is now better ensured." Chief Justice Andrew Cheung also expressed regret over the resignation of Lord Collins and Lord Sumption. “Over the years, overseas non-permanent judges, including Lords Collins and Sumption, have made valuable contributions to the work of the court for which we in Hong Kong are very grateful.” Apart from reiterating that the Judiciary is committed to upholding the rule of law and judicial independence in Hong Kong guaranteed under the Basic Law, Mr Cheung emphasised that all judges and judicial officers will continue to abide by the Judicial Oath and administer justice in full accordance with the law without fear or favour, self-interest or deceit. There are currently four local non-permanent judges and eight non-permanent judges from other common law jurisdictions in the CFA. Two of the overseas non-permanent judges were appointed last year and in May this year respectively. Mr Cheung said that suitable candidates from overseas common law jurisdictions will continue to be appointed to the court as non-permanent judges.      “The Chief Justice has complete confidence that the CFA will continue to fully perform its constitutional role as the final appellate court in Hong Kong. Its operation will not be affected by any change in membership of the court.” As the Department of Justice (DoJ) expressed regret over the resignations of two overseas non-permanent judges of the CFA, it also pointed out that it is grateful for their contributions. Nevertheless, the DoJ made it clear that this incident will not shake or impair the department’s determination and confidence in upholding the rule of law, including the independent judicial power exercised by the courts. Secretary for Justice Paul Lam said: “The Secretary for Justice, as the guardian of public interest and the due administration of justice, always endeavours to uphold the rule of law in Hong Kong and ensures that the courts are free from interference in the exercise of their independent judicial power, and indeed they are.”
07/06/2024
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung today attended the launch ceremony of Consular Protection Month, which aims to enhance public awareness of the consular protection provided by the country and outbound travel safety.  Co-hosted by the Immigration Department (ImmD) and the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (OCMFA), Consular Protection Month includes a series of publicity activities. They include roving exhibitions on consular protection, an online virtual exhibition, a new edition of an animated video, participation in the travel expo, as well as seminars on consular protection. Officiating at the ceremony, Mr Tang pointed out that consular protection has always been the strongest safeguard for Hong Kong people travelling abroad. With the full support of the OCMFA and the Chinese Diplomatic & Consular Missions, the ImmD's Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit strives to provide practicable assistance to Hong Kong residents in distress outside Hong Kong, he said. The security chief also thanked the OCMFA and the Chinese Diplomatic & Consular Missions for sparing no effort in providing Hong Kong people with various support services, which fully demonstrates the country's care and concern for Hong Kong people. OCMFA Deputy Commissioner Pan Yundong also officiated at the ceremony. He noted that over the past 27 years or so since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, the central government has always upheld the notion of "the safety of Hong Kong people is no small matter; the interests of compatriots are extremely important" and has proactively protected the legitimate rights and interests of Hong Kong people overseas, benefitting them with the country's diplomatic achievements. Mr Pan also stated that the OCMFA will work closely with the ImmD during the month in organising a series of activities for Hong Kong people to better understand consular protection policies and work involving Hong Kong, and to enhance their awareness and capabilities regarding safety precautions.
07/06/2024
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today strongly condemned wanted former board members of the Christian Zheng Sheng Association, Lam Hay-sing and Alman Chan as well as the association for maliciously creating the so-called suspension of the Christian Zheng Sheng College. In response to media enquiries about the college’s suspension, the Hong Kong SAR Government said it is aware that the association has informed teachers of the college that it will suspend its operation from July 7 this year. As at now, relevant departments have not yet been formally notified by the college. Wanted former board members, including Lam Hay-sing and Alman Chan, as well as the association which is closely related to these people, would need to bear full responsibility in case the college ceases its operation, the Hong Kong SAR Government stressed. Apart from strongly condemning Lam Hay-sing, Alman Chan and the association for maliciously creating this so-called suspension, the Hong Kong SAR Government indicated that they irresponsibly made up excuses, distorted the facts, and blamed others for their unwillingness to resolve the problem of operating fund. It made it clear that such acts are deplorable and pointed out that until now, the association has not yet addressed its own issues and fulfil its responsibility of payment of salaries to its staff. In fact, the Beat Drugs Fund exceptionally allocated on an emergency relief with over $1.8 million on a one-off basis to meet the college’s imminent needs. Unfortunately, they remained unmoved since then, and have been using different excuses to prevent the funds in the bank account from being transferred to the college for maintaining its daily operation. Both the association and the college are private institutions, and some students of the college have just graduated. Settling the bills arising from the malicious acts of certain individuals by the Beat Drugs Fund in the long term would not be in the best interest of the society but would encourage the irresponsible behaviour of the wanted people. The Narcotics Division (ND), together with the Education Bureau and the Social Welfare Department, have already contacted all parents and guardians of the college’s students in the past months to understand their needs and have been maintaining contact with them. Suitable plans for the students have been drawn up, and the ND will continue to co-ordinate relevant departments in providing the most appropriate assistance and arrangement for the students. The Hong Kong SAR Government reiterates that treatment and rehabilitation services would not be affected by the suspension of the college’s operation. It once again strongly condemns the disreputable and selfish acts of Lam Hay-sing, Alman Chan and the association for disregarding the welfare of the college’s teachers and students. Additionally, it urged them to make amends and resolve the relevant issues as soon as possible.
06/06/2024
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today said it strongly disapproved of and opposed the passing of a so-called resolution by the US House of Representatives. The resolution smeared and slandered the National Security Law (NSL) and the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance as well as enforcement actions taken by Hong Kong’s law enforcement agencies in accordance with the law. It also requested the imposition of so-called sanctions on the personnel responsible for the ordinance. Pointing out that the so-called sanctions intended to intimidate officials who resolutely safeguard national security, the Hong Kong SAR Government said the US House of Representatives attempted to use the name of freedom to disguise its despicable political motives and grossly interfered in Hong Kong affairs which are China’s internal affairs, violating international law and the basic norms governing international relations. It also stressed that the content regarding the laws relevant to safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR contained in the resolution is completely absurd and untrue. The Government said Hong Kong will not be intimidated by such despicable behaviour and will continue to resolutely safeguard national security in accordance with the law. Since the implementation of the NSL, the US has ignored the 2019 riots in Hong Kong, but piled up false stories to maliciously slander laws relevant to safeguarding national security and blatantly attack Hong Kong in safeguarding national security dutifully, faithfully and in accordance with the law. Moreover, the US has deliberately neglected the fact that the NSL has enabled the livelihood and economic activities of the Hong Kong community as well the business environment to return to normalcy. Such bullying acts and hypocrisy with double standards are utterly ugly and despicable, the Hong Kong SAR Government said. Noting it is incontrovertible that defending national security will provide a better business environment in Hong Kong, the Government reiterated that it will continue to safeguard national security fearlessly, so that the city can focus its efforts on developing the economy, improving people’s livelihood and maintaining long-term prosperity and stability. The Hong Kong SAR Government strongly urged the US House of Representatives to stop its attempts to interfere in Hong Kong safeguarding national security in accordance with the law by deploying such political tactics.
05/06/2024
The Government today said the remarks by some individuals on Hong Kong's economic and financial development have clearly overlooked the city’s existing advantages and the current positive development momentum and added that it needs to set the record straight. In a statement, the Government stressed that the real economic growth rates of the Mainland in the first quarter this year and the whole of last year were both above 5%, which are higher than the respective target, ranking it among the fastest-growing major economies in the world. According to a study by the International Monetary Fund, the Mainland economy contributed to more than 30% of global economic growth. The country's innovative research and development as well as application capabilities in new economic areas such as new energy vehicles, industrial robots, artificial intelligence and green development are widely recognised worldwide. As regards Hong Kong, its economy is growing steadily as well, having achieved a positive growth rate of 3.3% in 2023. Taking on the momentum of the steady development of the economy, the real gross domestic product grew at a year-on-year rate of 2.7% in the first quarter this year and it is estimated that there will be a growth of about 2.5 to 3.5% for the whole year. The statement pointed out that Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre is being reinforced and upgraded, with the market capitalisation of Hong Kong stocks exceeding $33 trillion, 10 times of that at the time of the return to the motherland in 1997. The Stock Connect has also brought about cumulative northbound and southbound capital flows of more than 1.8 trillion renminbi and $3.1 trillion respectively. The statement added that these figures demonstrate that Hong Kong as an international financial centre has fully utilised its ability to mobilise both Mainland and foreign capital, and will continue to play a key role in helping to "bring in" international enterprises and investors, as well as assisting Mainland enterprises to "go out". Additionally, the statement emphasised that the Hong Kong stock market has also seen numerous new highlights in recent years, with the average daily transaction volume of Exchange Traded Funds on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange exceeding $13 billion in the first quarter this year, an increase of more than 70% from 2021. Regarding derivatives, the total futures trading volume reached 149 million last year. Apart from representing a 40% increase from 2021, this also reflects Hong Kong's ongoing development as an international risk management centre, it added. The statement noted that the China Securities Regulatory Commission recently announced five new measures to support the development of Hong Kong's financial sector. Besides creating a positive market atmosphere, these measures would also bring long-term structural enhancements to the Hong Kong market, such as including real estate investment trusts in the Stock Connect, further enriching the choice of products available. On wealth management, Hong Kong’s asset management scale exceeds $30.5 trillion. Plus, recent market research estimates there are over 2,700 single family offices in the city, making it an ideal location for high-net-worth asset owners to set up and develop their business. The statement indicated that the effective functioning of "one country, two systems" is the cornerstone of Hong Kong's ongoing prosperity while the Basic Law explicitly protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press. It also highlighted that vast opportunities lie ahead and they will attract talent and businesses to develop in Hong Kong. As of end-April, around 290,000 applications had been received under various talent admissions schemes, and around 180,000 had been approved. Over 120,000 people already arrived in Hong Kong, bringing support to the city's labour force and economic development. As of 2023, there were over 9,000 companies in Hong Kong with their headquarters in the Mainland or overseas. In attracting strategic enterprises, more than 50 companies have established or expanded business in Hong Kong or will do so in the future, and they are expected to bring over $40 billion in investment and over 13,000 job opportunities in the coming few years. The Government said it has been implementing the "one country, two systems" principle under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy, in strict accordance with the Basic Law. The successful implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law and Safeguarding National Security Ordinance has brought about a safe and stable environment conducive to investment and financial development, it added. A survey conducted by a major foreign chamber of commerce early this year revealed that nearly 80% of its members had confidence in the rule of law in Hong Kong, and nearly 70% of them also said the operation of their enterprises had not been affected by the security law. Furthermore, the statement revealed that the "Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area" supports Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre, a global offshore RMB business hub, an international asset and risk management centre, as well as its development into a green finance centre and a platform for investment and financing serving the Belt & Road Initiative. The Government said that various data and facts not only reflect the performance of Hong Kong's economic and financial development, but more importantly highlight the city's unique advantages and strategic position under the "one country, two systems" principle, as well as its resilience and flexibility, in the face of global instability. While the external environment will remain complicated, the Mainland and Hong Kong's economic growth is steadily improving and even in a faster pace than some developed economies, it added.
05/06/2024
Police expressed strong condemnation against a statement issued by the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) that contains inaccurate content and groundless accusations regarding Police’s operation on June 4 in Causeway Bay. It noted that Police officers carried out their duties in accordance with the law in Causeway Bay yesterday, dedicated to upholding law and order and public peace, and safeguarding the life and property of citizens. Police clarified that at about 8.45pm last night, police officers found a foreign man and a woman outside SOGO Hong Kong. Given that their behaviour had attracted a large crowd of people, which might lead to a breach of the public peace, Police officers took them back to Wan Chai Police Station for investigation with their consent, and they were later released. Police noted that the action was based on their behaviour at the time and had nothing to do with their profession. Regarding an online media reporter claiming that he had been given an unreasonable warning, Police said this was not the case. The force said Police officers were conducting a stop and search operation at the scene. In view of the crowded situation, it was necessary for Police to further expand the area of operation to carry out their duties effectively. It explained that the Force Media Liaison Cadre (FMLC) was at the scene to co-ordinate and offer advice. While most of the journalists were co-operative, the online media reporter refused to co-operate and kept shouting, causing confusion. Police officers then issued a warning to him and asked him to enter the operation area to further issue a stern and clear warning. Police appealed to journalists to exercise professionalism, report and comment on news events accurately and pertinently and based on facts, and refrain from publishing false information so as to sustain their credibility in serving the community. Apart from reiterating that the force has all along respected press freedom and journalists’ right to report, Police stressed that it understands the need for journalists to report and film at the scene.  As such, without compromising operational efficiency, the force stated that it will continue to facilitate journalists’ reporting work, including the deployment of FMLC to co-ordinate at the scene. Police will also continue to communicate with the media industry to enable both sides to perform their respective functions properly.
03/06/2024
Police's National Security Department today arrested a 62-year-old man in Sha Tin for committing offences in connection with seditious intention. Last month, Police arrested six women and one man aged between 37 and 65 in various districts on suspicion of committing offences in connection with seditious intention, contravening the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. A woman in custody had exploited an upcoming sensitive date to repeatedly publish posts with seditious intention on a social media platform anonymously with the assistance of at least seven arrested people since April 2024. Apart from content provoking hatred towards the central authorities, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Judiciary, the content of these posts also incited netizens to organise or participate in relevant illegal activities at a later stage. Investigations also revealed that one of the arrestees, a 53-year-old woman, had supported fugitive Law Kwun-chung and other individuals through an online subscription platform, with money amounting to approximately $140,000. She was suspected of committing the offence of “providing pecuniary or other financial assistance or property for the commission of secession by other persons”, contravening the Hong Kong National Security Law. The number of people arrested in the case has now increased to eight. The 62-year-old man arrested today is being detained for further enquiries, while the remaining seven arrestees, except for one woman who continues to be remanded in Tai Lam Centre for Women, have been released on bail. Police reiterated that strict enforcement actions will be taken against such illegal acts and urged the public to abide by the law.
31/05/2024
The Social Welfare Department (SWD) today reminded members of the public to stay vigilant against a bogus phone call from a person claiming to be one of its officers. The department has received enquiries from restaurants who received phone orders for food or drinks from a person claiming to be an SWD officer. The fraudster would also ask the restaurants to help order goods from other vendors and settle the payment before seeking reimbursement of the amount from them. The SWD stressed that its officers would never request the public to settle any payments. The case has been reported to Police. People are advised to stay alert to suspicious phone calls. Anyone targeted by a suspected phone scam should report it to Police immediately.
31/05/2024
Police's National Security Department today revealed that a woman who was earlier arrested on suspicion of contravening the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, is also suspected of breaching the National Security Law. The department had arrested six women and a man on May 28 and 29 on suspicion of committing offences in connection with seditious intention, contravening Section 24 of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. Investigations revealed that a woman who was arrested on May 29 is also suspected of committing the offence of “providing pecuniary or other financial assistance or property for the commission of secession by other persons”, contravening Section 21 of the National Security Law. It was also discovered that she supported fugitive Law Kwun-chung and other individuals through an online subscription platform, with money amounting to approximately $140,000. Among the arrested people, one woman continues to be remanded in custody at the Tai Lam Centre for Women, while another five women and one man have been released on bail. Offences in connection with seditious intention are very serious crimes, carrying a maximum penalty of up to seven years' imprisonment. It is an offence for anyone to incite, assist in, abet or provide pecuniary or other financial assistance or property to another person by any means. Police reiterated that strict enforcement actions will be taken against such illegal acts and urged the public to abide by the law.

Pages