HL Deb 17 June 2003 vol 649 c91WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are making representations to the relevant authorities about the accelerated progress of the National Security Bill for Hong Kong and its implications for religious freedom, media freedom and free association. [HL3199]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

We have followed closely the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government's moves to introduce national security legislation to meet their obligations under Article 23 of the Basic Law.

We frequently raise Article 23 at high levels: my noble friend the then Lord Chancellor discussed it with senior SAR Government officials during a visit to Hong Kong in October 2002 as did my honourable friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Mr Rammell) when he visited in January 2003. We issued statements on Article 23 legislation in November 2002 and, most recently, on 27 March 2003. Since then we have continued to discuss the issue with the SAR Government.