Morgunblaðið Publishes A Signed Article by Ambassador Jin Zhijian Entitled An Important Decision to Safeguard Hong Kong's Prosperity and Stability

On June 4, the famous Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið published a signed article by Ambassador Jin Zhijian entitled An Important Decision to Safeguard Hong Kong's Prosperity and Stability.

The full text is as follows:

On May 28, the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in China approved Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to Safeguard National Security, which has attracted widespread global attention. Therefore, I would like to make a brief introduction on the background and impacts of the Decision, to which many Icelandic friends and media may feel interested to learn more about.

Since the return of Hong Kong to the motherland in 1997, China has been firmly implementing the principles of "one country, two systems," "the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong," and a high degree of autonomy. The practice has achieved great success in Hong Kong, yet faced with increasingly notable risks and challenges, particularly since the turbulence over proposed legislative amendments in June 2019. "Hong Kong independence" extremists, local radicals and meddling external forces have radically undermined the rule of law and social order in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), severely affected Hong Kong's economic activities and people's livelihood, gravely threatened national sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity, seriously challenged the bottom line of the “one country, two systems” and posed high risks on national security.

No government of a sovereign state will allow acts that endanger its national security on its territory. As a special administrative region of China, Hong Kong has constitutional obligation to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests. It has been 23 years since Hong Kong's return, and the SAR government has made continuous efforts to complete the legislative work on safeguarding national security required by Article 23 of the Basic Law. But because of the obstruction by the opposition forces, the legislation is yet to materialize and facing possible blocks on further discussion, which leaves Hong Kong in the rare "defenseless" status in the field of national security. Efforts must be made at the state-level to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms in order to plug the lethal loopholes in national security in Hong Kong. This approach is both necessary and urgent as to safeguard "one country, two systems", which fully complies with the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the PRC and the Hong Kong Basic Law, and is consistent with international practice. It has won heartfelt support of the Chinese people including Hong Kong compatriots.

Safeguarding national security is the essence of "one country, two systems", as “one country” is the precondition for the viability of “two systems”, while “two systems” is subordinate to and derived from “one country”. Should the foundation be undermined, “two systems” would be out of the question. The NPC’s legislative decision targets a very narrow category of acts that seriously jeopardize national security such as secession, subverting state power and organizing and carrying out terrorist activities, as well as interference in the HKSAR’s internal affairs by external forces. It has no impact on Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, the rights and freedoms of speech, press, publication and assembly of Hong Kong residents or the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong. A legislative process will be set in motion following the adoption of the NPC decision. This will improve Hong Kong’s legal system and bring more stability, stronger rule of law and a better business environment to Hong Kong. It will protect the basic principle of “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong’s position as a global financial, trading and shipping center and the legitimate rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents.

Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs and allow no external interference. According to the Charter of the United Nations, no State has the right to intervene in the internal affairs of any other State. I hope NPC’s decision can be viewed in a calm, objective and impartial manner, and China’s legitimate efforts to safeguard national security in Hong Kong could be appreciated with respect and support.

The Chinese government is rock-firm in fully and faithfully implementing the “one country, two systems” policy. It is in the common interest of the international community to see the sound and sustained implementation of “one country, two systems” and a prosperous and stable Hong Kong. I believe Hong Kong will overcome the temporary difficulties and embrace a stable and bright future.

Chinese Ambassador to Iceland Jin Zhijian