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Human Rights, Development and Global Justice Series

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SW1.07

King's College London

Somerset House East Wing

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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China's National Security Concern and Hong Kong by Fu Hualing

Abstract: In his speech to celebrate the 20 years anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, President Xi highlighted two national security threats that Hong Kong may pose to China. One is the traditional concern of territorial integrity. While Xi did not specifically mention the emerging secessionist advocacy in Hong Kong, he made it clear that any attempt to harm China’s sovereignty will be “absolutely impermissible.” A second threat concerns the use of Hong Kong as a base to endanger China’s security, broadly defined as “us(ing) Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland.”

Under the Basic Law (Article 23), Hong Kong has a constitutional duty to enact a national security law to protect China’s national security. But the prevailing public opinion has been that such a legislation would endanger Hong Kong’s rule of law and undermine its way of life. Since the failed attempt in 2003 to enact a national security legislation, Hong Kong government has been reluctant to reactivate the legislative process. But how long can Hong Kong resist China’s pressure to produce such a legislation?

This talk will discuss China’s new national security regime that includes Hong Kong as an integral part and the implications for Hong Kong’s own national security law. In particular, it will outline what China’s internal and external security concerns are, why China is eager to have Hong Kong enact national security legislation, and whether the introduction of a national security legislation in Hong Kong is necessary or sufficient for addressing prevailing security concerns regarding Hong Kong and China.

About the speaker: Fu Hualing is Professor of Law at the Hong Kong University Faculty of Law, where he was Head of Department from 2008-11, and a current Visiting Researcher at King’s College London. He holds an LL.B. from Southwestern University in China, an M.A. from Toronto University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Osgoode Hall. Professor Fu’s research interests include constitutional law and human rights, with a special focus on the criminal justice system and media law in China. His recent work includes National Security and Fundamental Freedoms: Hong Kong’s Article 23 Under Scrutiny (Hong Kong University Press, 2005) (co-edited with Carole Petersen and Simon Young) and The Struggle for Coherence: Constitutional Interpretation in Hong Kong (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) (co-edited with Lison Harris and Simon Young). He teaches Corruption, Human Rights in China, and Legal Relations between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Photo credit: Du Bin (杜斌)

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SW1.07

King's College London

Somerset House East Wing

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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