Policy Address
Policy Agenda
Press Releases
TV Announcements
Previous Policy Address

F. Legislating on Article 23 of the Basic Law

54. Over the past few years I have been saying, "When Hong Kong succeeds, China will benefit. When China succeeds, Hong Kong will prosper". Our economic and social progress require not only a secure Hong Kong, but more importantly, a stable situation in the Mainland. Following our return to the Motherland, ensuring national security has become the natural and basic civic responsibility for each one of us to observe and practise. The SARG has stressed all along that the enactment of legislation under BL23 is meant to protect national security. It does not undermine in any way the preservation of the characteristics of Hong Kong as an open, pluralistic and cosmopolitan city. It will not affect the basic rights and freedoms we now enjoy. Nor will it undermine the SARG's compliance with internationally accepted norms of behaviour. This is the fundamental principle behind the whole legislative proposal.

55. During the consultation exercise conducted over the past three months, the community held animated and extensive discussions on the legislative proposal. I consider this kind of dialogue to be proper and normal. The SARG has noted that the community at large generally realises the need to legislate under BL23, while some citizens have expressed their doubts and worries about certain aspects of the legislative proposal. We value citizens' views and suggestions very highly, and will study these issues in depth. We will exchange further views with the citizens concerned over the next few weeks. I firmly believe that, when the SARG presents the Bill, all will be able to see that many of their views will have been accepted. Finally, I reiterate that the SARG will take this matter forward in a thoroughly open-minded and enlightened manner, and be completely transparent in the legislative process.

2003 | Important notices Last revision date: January 8, 2003