NSL: Government Updates

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong has gathered updates regarding the national security law that may pertain to the Canadian community in Hong Kong. We will continue to curate relevant content to keep you up-to-date, please stay tuned.


*updated as of June 15, 2020 9AM HKT.


15 Q & A on National Security Law (June 15)


HKSAR Government firmly opposes UK report (June 12)

The national security law will neither undermine ‘one country, two systems’ nor change the executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication, enjoyed by the HKSAR. There will be no impact on the various rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong people in accordance with the law. The national security law will create favourable conditions for strengthening the foundation of the successful implementation of ‘one country, two systems’ and ensuring the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

S for S speaks on national security law (June 11)

I think what is more important is that people should know that when the law is promulgated, then it becomes effective law. So it is important that all of us pay attention to what will be said in the law, so that we know what is allowed and what will not be allowed, that is the most important. Of course, the Government as well as the law enforcement agency will do public education. Once the law is made public, then we will be explaining more about the details of the law.

TV announcement (Eng): Preserve “One Country, Two Systems”   Restore Stability (June 11)


TV announcement (Chi): Preserve “One Country, Two Systems”   Restore Stability (June 11)


CE’s remarks to media before ExCo meeting (June 9)

I can say very categorically that there is absolutely no change in the policy of the Central Authorities towards the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region because that policy is enshrined through the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and repeatedly stressed by the leaders, and that is the successful, comprehensive and accurate implementation of “One Country, Two Systems”. And national security should be very much a core part of that comprehensive and accurate implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” because every country needs national security in order to safeguard the interests of the country.

HKSAR Government strongly condemns strike and class boycott as referendum; appeals to public to support legislation to safeguard national security (June 7)

“The Basic Law and Hong Kong’s legal system do not provide for any ‘referendum’ mechanism. Conducting any form of a so-called ‘referendum’ will have no constitutional basis or legal effect. Holding a strike and a class boycott as a referendum is obviously taking advantage of students for political purposes… All of society should dissociate themselves from any organisation, which has repeatedly through different means used school as a venue for expressing political demands and even intentionally misleading or inciting students, especially primary and secondary school students, to take part in such meaningless activities and holding so-called strikes or class boycotts as a referendum. We call on parents and teachers to better protect our next generation, to urge the young children and students not to participate in such activities and work together in preventing politics and fallacies from invading schools.”

Transcript of remarks by Secretary for Justice on national security law (June 6)

In respect of the role of the Department of Justice, under Article 63 of the Basic Law, the DoJ is responsible for all criminal prosecution matters without any interference. Therefore, we will make our decision in relation to prosecution, whether or not to prosecute and ultimately to take charge of the prosecution matter in court, in accordance with evidence, the law and the Prosecution Code. This is how we are going to do it.  

TV Announcement (June 5)


Remarks by CE at media session in Beijing (June 3)

I can only say that the international community and some of the foreign governments have been adopting blatant double standards in dealing with this matter and commenting on this matter. It is within the legitimate jurisdiction of any country to enact laws to protect and safeguard national security. USA is no exception, UK is no exception. Why should they object, resist or even condemn and take sanctions against Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China for taking similar actions to protect … [national security]

Remarks by CE before ExCo meeting (June 2)

There is simply no justification whatsoever for any government, any economy to impose sanctions on Hong Kong as a result of a very legitimate process of the Central Authorities taking this decision to enact laws for Hong Kong to better protect national security

Secretary for Security comments (June 2)

I will reflect the views of different people [to Beijing authorities]. There are people who support it and people who do not. Obviously I will reflect what is happening in Hong Kong and what I have heard. I am in charge of the enforcement side, so I will do my best to reflect how law enforcement agencies operate under the common law system, how the collection of evidence and presentation of evidence will take place in court and how some common law principles will be applied in the adjudication of the cases

FS’s remarks at media session (June 1)

On the linked exchange rate, we are very confident that we will be able to defend our linked exchange rate. The linked exchange rate will be there; we have no intention to change it. It was first introduced back in 1983. The US-Hong Kong Policy Act was legislated back in 1992, so there is no connection between the two. We are confident about our ability and capability to defend the exchange rate for the following reasons. Number one, we have about US$440 billion in our foreign exchange reserve, which is more than twice of our monetary base. Point number two, the liquidity of our banking system is ample. The banking sector is very healthy, very strong. In terms of capital adequacy ratio, it now stands at about 20 per cent as compared with global standard of 8 per cent. In terms of liquidity ratio, it is about 160 per cent, whereas the global requirement is only 100 per cent. The classified loan ratio is only 0.6 per cent, which by any standard is very low, so the quality of banking assets is very strong.

HKSAR Government refutes statements by US Administration (May 30)

We note with deep regret that President Trump and his administration continue to smear and demonise the legitimate rights and duty of our sovereign to safeguard national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) which in turn is aimed at restoring stability to Hong Kong society. Our society has been traumatised by escalating violence and threats of terrorism over the past year… “We do not believe that sanctions or trade restrictions against Hong Kong are justified. They will lead to a breakdown of the mutually beneficial Hong Kong-US relationship built up over the years and only hurt local and US businesses in Hong Kong and the people working for them.

Transcript of remarks by Secretary for Justice on national security law (May 30)

It is within the sovereign right of each state to pass relevant national security laws. Insofar as that is concerned, any other state that tries to use coercion or whatever means with a view to interfering with the sovereign right of a state to pass its own national security law is arguably infringing on the principle of non-intervention under public international law, and that is not acceptable.

SCED on Hong Kong Policy Act Report by US State Department (May 29)


As regards the US policy towards Hong Kong, I think we have stated time and again that the special trading status that Hong Kong enjoys is part and parcel of the “one country, two systems”, because this provision has been given to Hong Kong by the Basic Law, Articles 116 and 151. It is not a gift (given) unilaterally by any trading partner. In fact, it is also recognised multilaterally, throughout the world, through our multilateral trading relations as well as our membership under the World Trade Organization. We take exception to the US policy recently announced by their Secretary of State towards Hong Kong, because it gives no regards to Hong Kong’s constant upholding of “one country, two systems”.

HKSARG strongly objects to Hong Kong Policy Act Report  by US State Department (May 28)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government on May  expressed strong opposition to sweeping remarks contained in the so-called report by the US State Department under the United States — Hong Kong Policy Act (the report). “These remarks misrepresented the constitutional relationship between the HKSAR and the Central Authorities, smeared the implementation of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ in Hong Kong and interfered in the internal affairs of the HKSAR,” a Government spokesman said.

CE’s letter to Hong Kong citizens (May 29)

Every country has its own laws to safeguard national security for the long-term security of their country and the stability of people’s lives. The legislation by the Central Authorities for the HKSAR to safeguard national security aims to enable Hong Kong society to find a way out of the impasse, restore stability as soon as possible and resume development of the economy and livelihoods.

CE statement on passage of Decision on establishing and improving legal system and enforcement mechanisms for HKSAR to safeguard national security by NPC (May 28)

The legislation to be enacted for the HKSAR to safeguard national security aims to prevent, curb and sanction an extremely small minority of criminals who threaten national security, safeguarding the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and maintaining “One Country, Two Systems”. It will not affect the legitimate rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents. “One Country, Two Systems” has been Hong Kong’s top advantage, and a stable and safe society will provide a favourable business and investment environment. This will help better Hong Kong’s development down the road. I strongly believe that various sectors of society will lend their full support for the legislation.

LegCo President statement on Decision (May 28)

I am glad to see the explanations by both the Central Government and the HKSAR Government that the implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” in Hong Kong remains unchanged. The rights and freedom enjoyed by Hong Kong people and international investors in accordance with the law, including freedom of procession, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, freedom of publication and of the press, and our daily life will not be affected.

Government response to US Chamber of Commerce statement on national security law (May 27)

The spokesman said that businesses the world over placed a high premium on the safety and stability of an economy to provide certainty and confidence in making decisions on where to invest, work and live. Violent social unrest over the past year – which has resurfaced again recently – has had a severe impact on business and investor confidence and adversely affected the bottom line of businesses in certain sectors such as aviation, retail, tourism, catering, etc, the spokesman said. “The national security law will ensure that Hong Kong does not become a base for subversion and instability, but rather a safe, stable and welcoming city for people from all over the world.”

LCQ6: Legislation on Article 23 of Basic Law (S for S) (May 27)

“The Decision will ensure the enduring success of “One Country, Two Systems”. “One Country” is the prerequisite for and foundation of “Two Systems”. Establishing and improving at the national level the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for HKSAR to safeguard national security will be conducive to safeguarding national security as well as Hong Kong’s development, long-term prosperity and stability. Only when national security is safeguarded can “One Country, Two Systems” be faithfully implemented, then the advantages of the “One Country, Two Systems” can be fully utilised to better develop the economy and improve people’s livelihood, thereby better protecting the legitimate rights and freedoms of all members of the public in Hong Kong.”

SCMA’s transcript (May 27)

For the NPC (National People’s Congress)’s legislation about national security, there is a principle of the legislation under which the Hong Kong people’s freedoms will be preserved. So I don’t think the new legislation will have any influence on our freedoms.

CE’s standup (May 26)

But ultimately what is to be provided in this piece of legislation is for all of us to see in order to be assured that Hong Kong’s freedoms will be preserved and Hong Kong’s vibrancy and the core values in terms of the rule of law, the independence of the Judiciary, the various rights and freedoms enjoyed by people will continue to be there.

Statement by OCMFA Commissioner at briefing for CGs, chambers, media (May 25)


In short, here are five key messages: First, national security legislation for Hong Kong is right and proper and of greatest urgency. Second, it is just and legitimate for the Central Government to safeguard national security, which is both within its power and its obligation. Third, national security legislation will ensure the enduring success of “One Country, Two Systems”. Fourth, the international community can rest assured about the legislation for Hong Kong. And fifth, the Chinese government is rock-firm in upholding national sovereignty, security and development interests.

Department of Justice responds to concerns over national security law (May 25)

National security is outside the limits of the autonomy of the HKSAR but a matter under the purview of the Central Authorities. In view of the current situation in Hong Kong and the difficulty faced by the HKSAR to complete on their own legislation for safeguarding national security in the foreseeable future, the Central Authorities have the right and duty to introduce a national law to improve at the national level the legal framework and enforcement mechanisms for national security for the HKSAR. Such national law is under the ambit of “defence and foreign affairs as well as other matters outside the limits of the autonomy of the Region” as set out in Article 18(3) of the Basic Law.

Government statement on comments by foreign politicians (May 24)

“Every country has a right, and indeed a duty, to protect national security and sovereignty. To suggest that our sovereign, China, does not have the right to legislate to protect national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) smacks of double standards and hypocrisy…. Much of the criticism and commentary from politicians and pundits is no more than alarmist speculation and innuendo that completely ignore the constitutional reality that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China. As such, it cannot and must never become a base for subversive activities or organisations seeking to destabilise our country. The proposed law will only target acts of secession, subversion, terrorist activities as well as activities interfering with HKSAR’s internal affairs by foreign or external forces. The vast majority of law-abiding Hong Kong residents, including overseas investors, have nothing to fear.”

Comments by SCED Edward Yau (May 25)

I believe we need to have a fuller articulation and explanation to the international chambers, making sure that they understand better about the draft Decision. I believe with fuller understanding, they would restore their confidence in Hong Kong. Because we do believe that the law, which is an essential part of upholding national security and stability, would also be conducive to the business environment in Hong Kong as an international city.

Statement by Secretary for Security John Lee (May 25)

Society is filled with violence and has lost its peace. In just a few months, Hong Kong has changed from one of the safest cities in the world to a city shrouded in the shadow of violence. The radical and violent acts that occurred on Hong Kong Island yesterday (May 24) have severely blocked the traffic. The rioters had gone on a rampage. Many shops were vandalised and a number of innocent citizens and police officers were injured. Some protesters waving flags advocating “Hong Kong independence”. The Secretary for Security strongly condemns the acts of the rioters’ and advocates of “Hong Kong Independence”, and expresses his full support to the Police to strictly enforce the law. Today’s incident proves the need and urgency of the Decision to be deliberated by the NPC.

Blog by Secretary for Justice – “Safeguarding National Security” (May 24)


There are doubts as to whether the NPCSC can legislate national security laws for the HKSAR. Such doubt is totally unwarranted. National security is never part of HKSAR’s autonomy, and indeed never a matter that concerns only the HKSAR. National security affects 1.4 billion nationals and it is trite that it has to be and is a matter that is entirely within the purview of the Central Authorities. When the threats to territorial integrity, secession and subversion of a nation persists coupled with a lack of laws that addresses these, it is natural and indeed proper for the Central Authorities to take action and propose to the NPC to make a Decision and to introduce a national law applicable to the HKSAR. Such a national law is within the ambit of “defence and foreign affairs as well as other matters outside the limits of the autonomy of the Region” set out in Article 18(3) of the Basic Law.

CE’s Statement (May 22)

The HKSAR is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China. It is a local administrative region which shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy and come directly under the Central People’s Government. Safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests is the constitutional requirement of the HKSAR, the duty of the HKSAR Government, and also in the interest of all the Hong Kong residents. In view of the increasingly serious situation the HKSAR is facing in relation to national security and the difficulty of the executive and legislative authorities of the HKSAR to complete on their own legislation for safeguarding national security in the foreseeable future, the HKSAR Government supports the NPC’s deliberation of the Decision to establish and improve at the national level the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security.

CE’s transcript at media session (May 22)


“The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong supports the continuation of a stable free-market economy in Hong Kong, where local and international businesses can thrive and succeed. We sincerely hope that legislation will maintain the city’s long-held reputation as an international business, trade and financial center and its status as a special administrative region. We look forward to working with the HKSAR Government to continue to promote Hong Kong’s potential to global investors, businesses and visitors.”

— Todd Handcock, Chairman, The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong