HK should not begin Article 23 legislation within the current legislative year, says pro-Beijing heavyweight

Pro-Beijing heavyweight politician Lo Man-tuen said Hong Kong should not begin the enactment of Hong Kong's own national security law - Article 23 - within the current legislative year.

Lo, an Election Committee member and vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, said in a commentary in Ming Pao Friday that as the world starts to rebuild post-Covid, it is crucial for Hong Kong to vigorously pursue economic development and to seize opportunities for progress.

He noted that chief executive John Lee Ka-chiu’s recent trip to the Middle East is a case in point for implementing the spirit of President Xi Jinping's important speech made on July 1 last year, which further promotes the SAR's strengths and advantages, and exploring business opportunities for the city.

Hong Kong has to maintain its unique advantages and strengthen its connection to the world instead of getting distracted by another turmoil triggered by the legislation, he said.

Lo said with Hong Kong having the Beijing-imposed national security law as backup, there is no urgency for the SAR to rush through with the legislation.

He also mentioned that the legislation could be used as propaganda by Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party to smear the "one country, two systems" principle, thus, impeding China’s peaceful reunification with Taiwan.

Hong Kong last attempted to pass the Article 23 bill in 2003, but that move was shelved after half a million people took to the streets in protest.