UK Foreign Office Minister welcomes Significant Amendments to Hong Kong National Security Legislation

In a press statement issued on 17th July 2003, UK Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell has welcomed significant amendments made by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government to its proposed national security legislation (required under Article 23 of the Basic Law). The legislation is also covered in Her Majesty’s Government's latest six-monthly report to Parliament on Hong Kong, published on 17th July.

Mr Rammell said: “There have been significant developments with regard to Hong Kong's national security legislation in recent days. We witnessed on 1 July the largest demonstration in Hong Kong since the handover with the estimated participation of up to 500,000 people from all sectors of society. It is a tribute to the people of Hong Kong that so large a demonstration could take place in such a peaceful manner. The march clearly showed the desire of Hong Kong people to retain the rights and freedoms they have long enjoyed.

We see the subsequent announcement by the Chief Executive of significant changes to the proposed legislation as a positive move. We particularly welcome the decision to remove from the legislation the proposed new provisions regarding the proscription of Hong Kong organisations subordinate to organisations proscribed on the Mainland on national security grounds. This had been one of the main concerns of the people of Hong Kong and of the international community and we have repeatedly expressed our concern on this issue. We welcome the fact that the SAR Government has listened to these concerns.”

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