Hong Kong Business Community Supports Article 23

The new security legislation will put an end to issues plaguing Hong Kong for 26 years and allow the city to refocus on economic and social development

For Immediate Release

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce support the Government’s plan to implement Article 23 legislation as soon as possible to put an end to the issues that have plagued Hong Kong for 26 years. The move will also provide a solid legal framework to safeguard national security, strengthen and enhance the overall business environment, as well as ensure the continued success of the “one country, two systems,” all of which will allow the city to refocus on economic and livelihood issues.

Chief Executive John Lee announced today that the Government has formally launched a public consultation on the Basic Law Article 23 legislation. The Safeguarding National Security Bill is among the items on this year’s agenda that the Hong Kong Government submitted to the Legislative Council earlier this month. The purpose of the bill is to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law and to enhance relevant laws for safeguarding national security.

Lee said the legislative principles include safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, safety and development interests, as well as protecting people’s rights and freedoms. According to the principle of the rule of law, any act and activity endangering national security shall be proactively prevented, suppressed and punished. He emphasized that the legislation respects and protects human rights, and the rights and freedoms that Hong Kong residents enjoy under the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s four major business chambers fully support the launch of the public consultation to expedite legislation. We hope all stakeholders can come together to build a consensus so that the legislation can be finalized as soon as possible to safeguard Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” principle.

To garner public support, we call on the Government to explain in detail the legislation to the public, media, international chambers and consulates in Hong Kong. We also encourage the community to express their views and opinions to reach a consensus in a rational and pragmatic manner, which will be conducive to a stable business environment.

It has been over 20 years since the withdrawal of Article 23 legislation in 2003; Hong Kong's social order faced unprecedented disruptions in 2019, seriously hurting investment sentiment in the city. It is believed that there is a general consensus in our society regarding the need for Article 23 legislation. In particular, with the increasingly complex geopolitical situation round the globe, Hong Kong's business community strongly believes that the implementation of Article 23 is imminent and the one-month consultation period is appropriate under the circumstances. Enacting the relevant legislation without further delay will not only create a stable and trusted business environment, reignite investor confidence but, more importantly, allowing our business community to focus its energy on economic development and prosperity.

The Hong Kong business community firmly believes that enacting Article 23 of the Basic Law is a constitutional responsibility that rests upon us in order to effectively uphold national security and eliminate any unnecessary doubts. Hong Kong remains as one of the freest and most open economies in the world. Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are resilient and are determined to forge ahead even in adversity, contributing to Hong Kong's continuous success. We need a stable social order and business environment to support the sustainable development of our SMEs and to maintain their achievements that did not come easy. Article 23 of the Basic Law, if implemented, will provide a solid legal foundation protecting the interests of our businesses. Hong Kong’s four major business chambers fully support our Government's prompt commencement of a public consultation and legislative work and hope to achieve societal consensus the soonest possible, propelling Hong Kong to reach even newer heights under "One Country, Two Systems".



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Jonathan Man         Tel: 2823 1229

Alison Lee                Tel: 2542 8636

Henry Chan             Tel: 2732 3190

Michael Kwan         Tel: 2525 6385

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