HONG KONG (AFP) – Hong Kong leader John Lee said Wednesday that the semi-autonomous city would create its own national security law in 2024, four years after Beijing imposed sweeping legislation.
Security chief turned leader Lee said during his second-ever policy address on Wednesday that the government would “continue to safeguard national security and improve its relevant legal system and enforcement mechanisms”.
“The government is pressing ahead to draw up effective legislative options and will complete the legislative exercise in 2024 to fulfil our constitutional duty,” Lee said.
Under the Basic Law — the city’s mini-constitution — Hong Kong is required to make its own law combating seven security-related crimes, including treason and espionage.
The task, often referred to as “a constitutional responsibility” by the city’s government, has yet to be fulfilled.
The last legislative attempt in 2003 was shelved after half a million Hong Kongers took to the streets to protest the move.