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Chief Executive's transcript on national security law


Following is the transcript of a media session by the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, about the National Security (Legislative Provisions) Bill at the Central Government Offices today (July 7):

Chief Executive: Last Saturday, in response to complaints expressed by the people in Hong Kong, the Government made substantial changes to three particular areas of the law that was being proposed for Basic Law Article 23.

Many citizens of Hong Kong felt that the Government had made very positive responses, but others said that more time was needed to understand these new changes. At the same time, we believe that the community needs to have a calm atmosphere and we need to really stand united in front of all these challenges. Very early this morning, the Executive Council decided to defer the resumption of second reading of the Bill, and this is really in further response to the views and concerns expressed by the people. I nevertheless want to emphasise one more time that enacting a national security law is the constitutional responsibility of all of us and we really need to work together to get the legislation completed.

I have said a few times before that I am fully aware and very conscious of the demands and the aspirations of those people who were demonstrating on July 1, and these were in many, many different areas. I am looking at this very carefully and soon I will be making responses to them. I want you to know, we are looking at these areas of expressed concern very seriously and we are investigating the issues. At this moment, I think what is most important is really to get our economy going again, and we need to stand united to move forward together.

Thank you very much.

End/Monday, July 7, 2003


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