The anti-mask law is something we will handle within Hong Kong in accordance with “one country, two systems” and our existing legal and non-legal means so there is no such thing as the central government’s approval for the chief executive in council to exercise a power which is given to the chief executive in council under existing legislation, said Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a news conference in Hong Kong on Friday.
Lam added that during her very brief stay in Beijing, there was no interaction, discussion on legislation or encounters whatsoever with central government officials.
At the conference, Lam said there would be no future steps taken unless there is an escalation of violence. As a responsible government, she added, it is necessary to use all reasonable measures to stop the escalating violence and restore order to the community.
Lam said the Hong Kong SAR government is invoking a valid and existing piece of legislation to make another piece of legislation. So, there is no point to relate this legislation to a step closer to authoritarianism.
Lam expressed her hope for the whole world to watch this difficult situation “in a comprehensive and impartial manner” and to “have sympathy”.
Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu stated that there are always ways to identify an on-duty police officer who is not allowed to leave his position, so police officer must have proper protective gear.
As violent protests in the city continued to escalate, Hong Kong regulated an anti-mask law on Friday, with violators subject to imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of HK$25,000. Anyone who wears a facial covering to hide their identity during a public meeting, public procession or illegal assembly will be held accountable for violating the ban.
(Compiled by Yu Lidong)