On February 14, 2023, the 73rd session of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights held a non-governmental organization hearing in Geneva, Switzerland, to investigate the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by China (including Hong Kong and Macao). The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights investigates China every year (Hong Kong and Macao Region) performance, many representatives of patriotic groups actively submitted reports to this meeting and represented at next step.
At the meeting, representatives of patriotic organizations spoke about the positive changes since the implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, refuted the long-standing situation of anti-China organizations in smearing and attacking Hong Kong freedom of the press, legal protection, trade union rights and police duty.
Ho, Sabrina S.Y.(Ms), member of the Hong Kong Election Committee and vice chairman of the Hong Kong and Mainland Legal Profession Association, said that the National Security Law has played an irreplaceable role in maintaining sovereign security. Moreover, the National Security Law is not unique in Hong Kong. As a legal expert, we hope that the Hong Kong courts will continue to faithfully implement the relevant provisions of the National Security Law and find a balance between protecting human rights and safeguarding national security.
Chung Kin Fung, vice chairman of the Young Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, and director of the Youth Concentric Association Limited, said that the National Security Law upholds the rights of Hong Kong citizens. Reviewing the past, Hong Kong was full of riots and violence against the government, the police and candidates running for district council elections are unable to express their true ideas. As an ordinary citizen, if you expressed any opposite views at that time, your life would be in danger, and freedom of speech was seriously threatened during the riot period.
Victor Chan Chi-ho, member of the Hong Kong Election Committee and Convener of Youth Vision Hong Kong, said that Hong Kong Civil rights have not been unreasonably affected after the promulgation of the Hong Kong National Security Law. In fact, during the past Christmas, I saw many Hong Kong citizens, especially young people who celebrate freely as usual, and the community has organized different celebrations, which shows that Hong Kong is still a very free and vibrant place.
On the contrary, during the past Christmas holiday in 2019, violent riots were rampant, social order was chaotic, public transportation was paralyzed, and a large number of community activities were suspended. For safety reasons, some citizens are even afraid to go out. Effective rule of law and public order constitute the basis for effective civil rights.
Leung Yip Pang, Executive Committee Director of Tin Shui Wai Resident Association Limited, believed that there didn’t exist human rights violations in Hong Kong. Trade unions, journalists, lawyers and civil society organizations could still live and work freely in Hong Kong, and their rights are well protected. In addition, Hong Kong National Security Law has improved Hong Kong business environment. Many companies are willing to invest in Hong Kong. The business environment is active and vibrant, and the stock market is stable and prosperous. Many people have benefited from it. All this shows that Hong Kong is a place where you can invest and get benefited.
Jody Kwok Fu-yung, member of Federation of New Territories Youth, said that after the implementation of Hong Kong National Security Law, there has been no capital flee, social chaos and weak governance. Given it that the pandemic has softened and society has returned to normal situation, most multinational enterprises have regained their confidence in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong position as an international financial center has stabilized. Therefore, there is no evidence to show that Hong Kong business environment is influenced by the National Security Law. On the contrary, it enhances the freedom of Hong Kong business environment.
Jonathan Chow, member of the New Territories Association of Societies, believed that the purpose of the National Security Law is to punish evil and promote goodness in order to protect Hong Kong freedom of expression from infringement. Only teachers who violate the law will be punished, and the National Security Law has no impact on civil rights. Hong Kong has paid a heavy price in the riot, and the combination of the National Security Law has brought down the violence, which is the political cornerstone of prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. Chan Tan Tan, New Line Youth Volunteer Service Groups, said the allegation that the opposition parties accused law enforcement of arresting democrats arbitrarily is untrue. The National Security Law guarantees the freedom of speech. The central government, like other countries, can’t tolerate secession, subversion of power and collusion with foreign forces, which is the purpose of implementing the national security law.