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The Security Bureau today reiterated that an organisation and its members shall remain criminally liable for the offences they have committed, notwithstanding its disbandment or the resignation of its members. The bureau made the statement in response to media enquiries concerning the decision of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions to disband. It emphasised that Police will spare no efforts in pursuing the legal liabilities of any organisation and people suspected of violating the Hong Kong National Security Law or other local laws. The statement stressed that acts and activities that endanger national security may have very serious consequences and actions must be taken to prevent and suppress such acts and activities to minimise the risks which organisations or individuals endangering national security may bring about. Thorough investigations will be conducted in respect of local organisations which have received donations from foreign political organisations and they will be asked to provide information. If necessary, other measures may also be taken pursuant to the implementation rules under the security law and powers under other relevant ordinances, the statement added. The bureau pointed out that based on evidence and the law, Police will continue to pursue the legal liabilities of organisations and people endangering national security in accordance with the law to ensure they are brought to justice so that they will not endanger national security.
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng today met members from the legal and dispute resolution sector to listen to their views on how the industry should maximise the opportunities brought about by the Qianhai Plan. The meeting also covered the opportunities made available by the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the Greater Bay Area development. Ms Cheng pointed out that the outline of the National 14th Five-Year Plan supports Hong Kong to establish itself as the centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, the Plan for Comprehensive Deepening Reform & Opening Up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, promulgated earlier this month, clearly states a higher level of opening up in legal matters in the zone. It also mentioned the establishment of an international legal services centre and an international commercial dispute resolution centre. Ms Cheng noted that as the only common law jurisdiction within the country, Hong Kong shall utilise the unique advantages under “one country, two systems and three jurisdictions” in the bay area, adding that with the central government's support, Hong Kong’s legal and dispute resolution sector has very promising prospects. The justice chief said the Report on Hong Kong’s Business Environments published by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government reiterates Hong Kong’s institutional strengths under “one country, two systems”, with other inherent strengths remaining intact. Such strengths include the solid foundation of the rule of law and judicial independence guaranteed by the Basic Law, which provide a safe and vibrant business environment to attract more investments in Hong Kong, and into the Mainland via the city. The Department of Justice will continue to maintain close contact with the stakeholders to bring out Hong Kong’s best to integrate with the country’s needs and to create synergy with the nation’s development.
Customs seized about 230kg of suspected liquid methamphetamine with an estimated market value of about $150 million at the airport. This is the largest airborne liquid methamphetamine trafficking case detected by Customs in nearly two decades. Through risk assessment, customs officers inspected an air cargo consignment, declared as carrying 7,680 bottles of coconut oil, arriving in Hong Kong from Mexico on September 14. The batch of suspected liquid methamphetamine was found concealed inside 1,920 bottles. A 45-year-old man suspected to be connected to the case was arrested at the airport on the same day. Customs reminded the public that the maximum penalty for trafficking a dangerous drug is a fine of $5 million and life imprisonment. The public may report suspected drug trafficking activities to the Customs’ hotline 2545 6182 or by email.
Commissioner of Police Siu Chak-yee today again extended sympathies to the family of senior police inspector Lam Yuen-yee who passed away while performing duties in waters near Sha Chau days ago. He also conveyed deepest condolences from the Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office of the State Council (HKMAO) and various sectors in the community. National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Vice-Chairman and HKMAO Director Xia Baolong expressed his sincere condolences and deepest grief. The HKMAO praised Ms Lam for her dedicated service to Police for more than a decade, and lauded her professionalism as putting the spirit of safeguarding national and Hong Kong security into action. Different sectors of the community also highly commended Ms Lam for the determination and courage displayed, and considered her passing a great loss for the force. Relaying these messages to Ms Lam’s family, the police chief reassured them that colleagues took pride in working with such an outstanding officer, and the force pledges to render all necessary assistance. Police are making an all-out effort to investigate the case and will continue to fight against smuggling activities without fear in a bid to bring criminals to justice, Mr Siu added, reiterating that the force severely condemns the criminals for breaching law and order and risking people’s lives.
Police National Security Department today charged seven people, aged 16 to 25, with one count of conspiracy to incite the commission by other people of the offence of subversion under Article 22 and 23 of the National Security Law. They include a 16-year-old female arrested this afternoon, a 18-year-old woman being detained, and four men and one woman whose bail arrangements were revoked earlier today. The case will be mentioned at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts tomorrow afternoon.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam and senior officials today expressed sadness over the death of senior police inspector Lam Yuen-yee who passed away while carrying out duties in waters off Sha Chau. Currently on a duty visit on the Mainland, Mrs Lam extended her deepest condolences to the officer’s family. "Maintaining law and order on the front line, Police have always been committed to their duty to protect the life and property of the public and have been fearless in the face of danger, which is admirable. “I and the public are profoundly grieved by the tragic loss of Ms Lam when she was on duty. The Civil Service Bureau and the Hong Kong Police will make every effort to support her family." Chief Secretary John Lee expressed deep sorrow over the passing of Ms Lam. He extended his deepest condolences to her family and said the Government will provide the utmost support to her family members through this difficult time. On behalf of the civil service, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip offered his deepest condolences to Ms Lam's family, adding that the Civil Service Bureau had contacted Police and will make every effort to help her family during this sad and difficult period. Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung and Commissioner of Police Siu Chak-yee were deeply grieved by the passing of the senior inspector and they extended their deepest condolences to her family. The Welfare Services Group of Police has been in touch with Ms Lam's family and will make every effort to help. The marine police vessel Lam Yuen-yee was aboard was hit and overturned on September 25. Three other officers onboard fell to the sea and were rescued while Ms Lam went missing. An interdepartmental search and rescue operation was conducted for days. Her body was found in Yi O today. Aged 37, Ms Lam joined the Police Force in 2007 and was attached to the Small Boat Division of the Marine Police. The Chief Executive and senior officials also sent their regards to the three injured officers and wished them a speedy recovery.
Customs seized about 29,000 suspected counterfeit goods during a joint operation with its Mainland and Macau counterparts in the past month. The customs administrations stepped up inspection of goods across the three places and destined for North America, South America, Europe and Africa as well as countries and regions along the Belt & Road. The goods seized by Hong Kong Customs, worth about $3.2 million, included mobile phone accessories, clothes, pharmaceutical products, ornaments, leather products and footwear. People importing or exporting goods with forged trademark face a fine of up to $500,000 and five years’ imprisonment. Call the 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or send an email to report suspected counterfeiting activities.
Last Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a fact sheet setting out a host of malicious acts of the US in interfering in Hong Kong affairs and supporting anti-China, destabilising forces. It also shows that the US is in breach of international practice. Sovereign equality is a basic norm of international relations and a fundamental principle of international law, with the Charter of the United Nations (UN) expressly stating this principle. Meanwhile, the principle of non-intervention is an important concept central to sovereign equality, which was reaffirmed in the declaration on friendly relations and co-operation adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1970. Further, the International Court of Justice in its judgment in 1986 reiterated non-intervention as a principle of customary international law. The fact sheet clearly shows the US interference in Hong Kong affairs and support for anti-China, destabilising forces. Some US politicians continue to blatantly collude with anti-China, destabilising forces attempting to interfere with Hong Kong’s affairs. Their acts are in violation of international law and have undermined the spirit of the rule of law. Any society that cherishes the rule of law should condemn such abominable behaviours and indeed has an obligation to stop these from happening. Over these two years, the central authorities exercised the sovereign rights to enact the Hong Kong National Security Law and make a decision on improving the electoral system in accordance with the law, aiming to plug the national security loopholes and facilitate the implementation of “patriots administering Hong Kong”. In doing so, Hong Kong is able to stay true to the aspiration of the principle of “one country, two systems” by safeguarding national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity as well as maintaining the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong. Since the enactment of the National Security Law, Hong Kong has reverted to a safe, rational and inclusive society. International investors’ confidence in Hong Kong has also been enhanced. For example, as at the end of May 2021, the amount of initial public offering funds raised is about $184 billion, an increase of 621% when compared with $25.5 billion for the same period last year. In the securities market, the average daily turnover for the first six months of 2021 was $188.2 billion, representing an increase of 60% when compared with $117.5 billion for the same period in 2020. These figures speak for themselves, debunking all the baseless allegations and smears on the National Security Law. In addition to the outstanding performance in economic development, Hong Kong is also praised for its efforts in safeguarding the rule of law since the return to the motherland. According to the World Governance Indicators published by the World Bank, Hong Kong enjoys favourable scores in the area of the rule of law, rising steadily from 69.85 in 1996 to 91.58 in 2003. Hong Kong’s scores have been maintained over 90 since 2003, which are testimony to the international recognition of Hong Kong’s effort in safeguarding the rule of law. It is undeniable that following the enactment of the National Security Law, Hong Kong has been transformed from chaos to governance, and gradually towards development and prosperity. The improvements to the electoral system prove to be an important milestone in Hong Kong’s democratic electoral system under which the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” has been fully observed so as to ensure the steadfast and successful implementation of “one country, two systems”. In spite of the unilateral coercive measures, which are in violation of international law, imposed by the US on our country and Hong Kong with an attempt to meddle in the internal affairs of China, we all wholeheartedly safeguard the development interests of our nation and our people in accordance with law. Such unscrupulous attempts are to be futile. I strongly support the issuance of the fact sheet by Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to expose the contemptible acts by the US. I am also committed to rendering my full support in guarding against foreign forces interfering with the internal affairs of Hong Kong. Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng wrote this article and posted it on her blog on September 26.
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng today met Election Committee Legal Subsector members. Ms Cheng listened to their views on how the legal profession should make best use of the opportunities brought about by the Plan for Comprehensive Deepening Reform & Opening Up of the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone. She also extended her congratulations to the members who were elected in the Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections, noting that they are joined by the Hong Kong members from the Committee for the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, as well as the nominees from the China Law Society's Hong Kong Members Association, in representing the Legal Subsector under the Election Committee's new term. The members are responsible for the nomination and election of the Chief Executive as well as the nomination of candidates for the Legislative Council polls and election of 40 LegCo members. The justice chief pointed out that, with broad representation, the Election Committee Legal Subsector could fully reflect the needs of different stakeholders. The members, who are familiar with the situations in Hong Kong and the Mainland as well as international developments, would offer professional and practicable advice on how to capitalise on the growth in Qianhai, she added. Given that the Qianhai plan clearly sets out a higher level of opening up in legal matters and the establishment of an international legal services centre and an international commercial dispute resolution centre in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone as well as exploration of different legal systems and the cross-boundary legal regulatory interface, Ms Cheng opined that it would create abundant opportunities for the Hong Kong legal and dispute resolution sector. She also discussed with the members the measures set out in the Qianhai plan including exploration of ways to improve the mechanism for wholly owned Hong Kong enterprises to adopt Hong Kong law and choose for arbitration to be seated in Hong Kong; establishment of a new mechanism for civil and commercial judicial assistance and exchanges; and deepening reform of the partnership association mechanism. Having listened to the members' opinions, Ms Cheng was delighted to learn they shared the view that the Qianhai plan would open up more markets for the Hong Kong legal and dispute resolution sector, which would benefit their professional development. She noted that they also expressed their support for the Department of Justice's policy initiatives and agreed that Hong Kong, being the only common law jurisdiction within China, should leverage the unique advantage under “one country, two systems and three jurisdictions” in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.Ms Cheng anticipated that, following the implementation of the GBA Legal Professional Examination, there would be more lawyers from Hong Kong who could practise both Mainland and Hong Kong law in providing legal services for enterprises in Qianhai and elsewhere in the bay area. She encouraged the Hong Kong legal sector to jump at the chance. Before concluding the meeting, the justice chief said she looked forward to the continued and close co-operation with the legal sector in bringing out the best of Hong Kong in order to integrate with the needs of the country. She emphasised that it is a common goal to establish Hong Kong as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region so as to facilitate the long-term development of Hong Kong, the bay area and the whole country by proactively participating in the national development.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government firmly supports the Central People's Government, strongly opposing interference in Hong Kong affairs by any external forces, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said today. Mrs Lam made the statement in response to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' issuance of a fact sheet earlier that sets out a host of acts of the US in interfering in Hong Kong affairs and supporting anti-China, destabilising forces. She pointed out that over the past two years, external forces including the US used the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance legislative amendment exercise and the National Security Law enactment and implementation as excuses to support individuals who are opposed to China to blatantly obstruct the Hong Kong SAR Government's governance and advocate Hong Kong independence and self-determination, seriously endangering national security. The Chief Executive added that they also continuously slander our nation, vilify the Hong Kong SAR Government and smear the National Security Law through diplomatic and other domestic political means, which are shameful and despicable.Mrs Lam expressed her support to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' issuance of the fact sheet which systematically sets out 102 items in five broad categories of US interference in Hong Kong affairs through such acts as enacting Hong Kong-related acts, imposing sanctions, making unfounded charges against Hong Kong SAR affairs, shielding and supporting those who are opposed to China and colluding with some countries and teaming up with allies to exert pressure on China. She noted that these facts are indisputable. The international community and Hong Kong people will grasp clearly through the fact sheet the US hegemony acts that wantonly interfere in Hong Kong affairs and resent them.“I noticed that a number of representatives of different countries spoke in support of our nation at the United Nations Human Rights Council session held recently and opposed interference of other countries in Hong Kong affairs through various excuses.” Mrs Lam expressed gratitude to the ministry for its arrangements to allow her and some Hong Kong SAR principal officials to present the city's situation clearly at the sessions. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' fact sheet, once again, shows that the National Security Law enacted by the central authorities and implemented in Hong Kong last year as well as the improvement of the electoral system of the Hong Kong SAR by the central authorities this year are proper, reasonable and necessary. “In fact, following the enactment of the National Security Law, stability has been restored in Hong Kong society, actions have been taken against offenders according to the law and anti-China forces have significantly diminished. “The improvement of the electoral system ensures the principle of 'patriots administering Hong Kong', preventing people who are opposed to China to enter the political system of the Hong Kong SAR through elections. “The acts of the central authorities help the Hong Kong SAR guard against interference of external forces, which are instrumental to the maintenance of national security and the long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.”Mrs Lam reiterated that following the enactment of the National Security Law and improvement of the electoral system, Hong Kong continues to be a free and open international city, where the business environment remains intact and the rights of the overseas enterprises in Hong Kong are even better protected than before. She added that as Hong Kong is better positioned to integrate into the nation's overall development, overseas enterprises in Hong Kong will be presented with more opportunities than before. “We will continue to welcome foreign enterprises, including US enterprises, to set up offices and regional headquarters in Hong Kong, and use the city as a base for accessing the massive Mainland market.”