Hong Kong plans to introduce long-shelved Article 23 anti-subversion bill to legislature in second half of 2022, security chief reveals

The South China Post writes..

  • Government aims to introduce draft bill to Legco for scrutiny after launching public consultation, Secretary for Security Chris Tang tells lawmakers
  • Although Beijing has already imposed security law on Hong Kong, city still has a constitutional responsibility to enact its own version

The Hong Kong government plans to introduce a long-shelved national security bill to the city’s legislature in the second half of the year, the security chief has revealed.

Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung disclosed the time frame when responding to lawmakers’ questions on espionage in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

He said that on top of the Beijing-decreed national security law, another piece of existing legislation, the Official Secrets Ordinance, could also cope with spying and the stealing of official documents.

But he said the colonial-era ordinance was drafted many years ago and could not keep up with the latest developments. It therefore needed to be enhanced when Hong Kong enacted legislation to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution, to safeguard national security and address issues such as the chaos and street violence of the 2019 social unrest that led to more than 10,200 arrests, he said.