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52 countries welcome China’s adoption of HK security law

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet (2nd right) listens to Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam seen on a giant screen remotely addressing the opening of the UN Human Rights Council’s 44th session on June 30, 2020 in Geneva. (FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)

GENEVA – Speaking at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, Cuba, on behalf of 52 countries, welcomed the adoption of the law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by China’s top legislature.

Chinese lawmakers on Tuesday voted to adopt the law at the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature

The number of countries, which signed the joint statement Cuba read at the session, is expected to rise.

“Non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign states is an essential principle enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and a basic norm of international relations,” a representative of Cuba read out from a joint statement.

“In any country, the legislative power on national security issues rests with State, which in essence is not a human rights issue and therefore not subject to discussion at the Human Rights Council,” reads the statement.

“We believe that every country has the right to safeguard its national security through legislation, and commend relevant steps taken for this purpose.”

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“In this context, we welcome the adoption of the decision by China’s legislature to establish and improve a legal framework and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for the purpose of safeguarding national security, as well as China’s reaffirmation of adherence to ‘one country, two systems’ guideline,” the statement reads.

“We are convinced that this move is conducive to ensure ‘one country, two systems’ is steady and enduring, and that Hong Kong enjoys long term prosperity and stability. The legitimate rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents can also be better exercised in a safe environment,” the statement reads.

“We reiterate that Hong Kong is an inseparable part of China, that Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs that brook no interference by foreign forces. We urge relevant sides to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs by using Hong Kong related issues,” the statement reads.

The new law took effect at 11:00 pm local time on Tuesday in Hong Kong

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Chinese lawmakers on Tuesday voted to adopt the law at the 20th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature.

It took effect at 11:00 pm local time on Tuesday in Hong Kong. The promulgation of the law was signed by HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam and published in the Gazette, according to a statement of the HKSAR government.

The law that has 66 articles in six chapters clearly defines the duties and government bodies of the HKSAR for safeguarding national security; the offenses and their corresponding penalties; jurisdiction, applicable law and procedure; office of the central people’s government for safeguarding national security in the HKSAR; and other contents.

Reference