One year on, facts and figures about national security law in Hong Kong
One year after coming into force, the national security law in Hong Kong has brought back peace and stability and created conditions for the global financial hub gripped by violence and vandalism in 2019 to forge ahead and open a new chapter.
The following are facts and figures about the effectiveness of the law since it was implemented on June 30 of last year:
The number of crimes dropped about 10 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the 9.2-percent and 6.8-percent increases in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
As illegal and violent activities were curbed, more than 70 percent of respondents in Hong Kong were satisfied with the effectiveness of the national security law, according to a survey by local think-tank Bauhinia Institute in June.
The police have arrested 117 people on suspicion of breaching the law and the first offender, a motorcyclist who stormed police lines on July 1, 2020, and advocated "Hong Kong independence," has been prosecuted.
The legal proceedings against Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, an instigator of Hong Kong riots, is also underway.
The rule of law and judiciary independence continue to be upheld in Hong Kong. There are currently 13 overseas non-permanent judges of the Court of Final Appeal of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, who come from other common law jurisdictions.
Freedoms and human rights are well protected. Taking press freedom as an example, there are 93, 69 and 39 local, overseas and online media organizations registered in the government, respectively, showing increases from a year ago.
Hong Kong's status as an international financial center also remains solid.
In the first four months after the implementation of the national security law, the amount of funds flowing into the Hong Kong dollar system exceeded 300 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 38.61 billion U.S. dollars), and there were also net capital inflows for the whole last year.
Over the past year, the initial public offering funds raised in Hong Kong exceeded 500 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 64.36 billion U.S. dollars), representing an increase of more than 50 percent from a year ago.
At present, about 9,000 mainland and overseas companies have set up offices in Hong Kong, with more than 40 percent of them using Hong Kong as their regional headquarters or regional offices.
The economy got off to a good start in the first quarter with a 7.9 percent year-on-year increase of gross domestic product (GDP), ending six quarters of contraction. The jobless rate has also dropped from 7.2 percent registered during December to February to 6 percent in the March-May period.