The drafting and enactment of a national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is legitimate and urgently needed to ensure the safety of Hong Kong residents and the city's return to normalcy, international experts have said.
Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, China. (Photo: VCG)
The law that the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is drafting focuses on prohibiting acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign or external forces that endanger national security.
"Analyzing the legislation, the draft law clearly focuses on critical issues that endanger national security," said Dennis Munene, a senior policy adviser at the Africa Policy Institute. "These are subversion against the state power, secession, collusion with foreign forces that endanger national security, and terrorist activity."
Munene also pointed out that Hong Kong had been marred by acts of violence emerging from protests within the city since last year.
"The law is drafted to protect Hong Kong residents who have been greatly affected by the constant protests, and to protect the city and China against any infringement of its sovereignty by external forces," he said.
Koh King Kee, the president of the Center for New Inclusive Asia, an Asian think tank based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, said China was forced to sign the unequal Treaty of Nanking and ceded the island of Hong Kong to Britain after the First Opium War (1840-42).
When asked on how should China explain to the West about the national security law for Hong Kong, he said: "I just have a simple answer: Actually China should not be bothered to explain the national security legislation to anyone. Hong Kong is part of China, a city in China."
He added that the "one country, two systems" policy is premised upon the principle of "one country", and if the foundation of "one country" is threatened, the Chinese government has no choice but to take necessary measures to protect national security.
"Besides, certain foreign forces have been supporting and even instigating violent protesters in Hong Kong, which makes the national security law more urgently needed to ensure the city's return to normalcy."
'Timely and appropriate'
Benedict Wachira, the secretary-general of the Communist Party of Kenya, said that all practical evidence points to the fact that the draft and enactment of the national security law for Hong Kong is "both timely and appropriate".
The law seeks to address China's national security interests, of which Hong Kong is an integral part, especially after it became clear that the protesters and rioters had a deeper agenda beyond opposing the "extradition bill incident" in 2019, he said.
"What at first appeared as ordinary protests ended up being a well thought ideological campaign to destabilize China," he said, adding that the protesters are heavily supported by external forces. "The agenda of the protesters lacked and still lacks any pro-people content," he said.
So, it is imperative that China enforces national security measures over Hong Kong, he added.