The Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, chaired by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, convened its first meeting on Monday in Hong Kong with all 10 members attending.
National Security Adviser Luo Huining, who was appointed by the Central People’s Government, also sat in on the meeting. Luo is also director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR.
The government’s online statement did not specify the meeting’s agenda. According to Article 14 of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, the committee will analyze and assess developments in relation to safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR while formulating policies and enforcement mechanisms and advancing the legal system to safeguard national security.
The meeting was held on the same day Hong Kong’s stock market saw its highest level since early March, with the Hang Seng Index surging over 1,000 points, or 4.2 percent, to reach a high of 26,454 points during trading.
The National Security Law for the Hong Kong SAR, which took effect last Tuesday, outlaws secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security.
In an interview with China Daily on Monday, veteran Hong Kong politician Ip Kwok-him, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress, said the enactment of the law in the SAR will help ensure that the upcoming Legislative Council election on Sept 6 is conducted in a fair and safe manner.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, whose candidates stood in District Council elections last November, have become major targets of some anti-government protesters. Radicals have vandalized more than 70 DAB branch offices and nearly 30 HKFTU training centers and branch offices.
Ip said the violent acts had scared residents and affected the fairness of the election. But he added that, thanks to the new law, the chaos won’t happen again this year.
In a televised interview aired on Sunday night, Police Commissioner Chris Tang Ping-keung said the national security legislation for the city provides a strong legal basis for the police force to effectively tackle crimes, “tremendously” strengthening their confidence in safeguarding national security.
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