This Oct 3, 2018 photo shows the general view of the skyline of Hong Kong, with boats powering through Victoria Harbour. (ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong, although enjoying the status of a special administrative region, has the same obligation as other parts of the country in safeguarding national security, the central government’s liaison chief in the city said on Monday.
The successful implementation of ‘one country, two systems’ is impossible without national security. It's not the exclusive duty of just a few people, but the civic responsibility of every citizen
Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government,
Hong Kong SAR
Wang Zhimin -- director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region – stressed that Hong Kong is a key member of the nation’s governance system and is directly under the central government. Therefore, the city shoulders a vital constitutional obligation to safeguard national security.
Under “one country, two systems” principle, the SAR enjoys no special exemption when it comes to such obligation, Wang told Hong Kong’s second symposium on National Security Education Day.
“The successful implementation of ‘one country, two systems’ is impossible without national security,” he said. “It’s not the exclusive duty of just a few people, but the civic responsibility of every citizen.”
Wang quoted President Xi Jinping’s speech during the president’s visit to Hong Kong in 2017 that any attempt to endanger national sovereignty and security, or utilize the SAR to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses the red line, and is absolutely impermissible.
National security, he reiterated, is the basis of Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and a reflection of a city’s core competitiveness. The liaison chief urged Hong Kong people to further enhance the city’s competitive edge as a safe and stable society in order to create more business opportunities and sustain its economic vitality.
Also speaking at the event, Deng Zhonghua -- deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council – urged the SAR to improve relevant institutional arrangements, mechanisms and laws to effectively prevent and punish acts that undermine national sovereignty, security and the nation’s developmental interests.
The SAR government, he said, should guide its people in seeking consensus on the issue, and create a favorable climate of opinion to protect national security.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, along with senior officials from the central and SAR governments, as well as political heavyweights, also attended the event.
Lam said safeguarding national security is in Hong Kong’s interest, and all residents should pay attention to the issue.
Noting that Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulates Hong Kong’s constitutional obligation to safeguard national security, she pledged that the SAR government will continue to create a favorable environment for the legislation against acts that may endanger national security.
National Security Education Day has been held annually across the country on April 15 each year since 2016 to promote public awareness of national security.
The Hong Kong symposium has been organized by local think tank, the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute, since 2018.
A themed exhibition on national security was also held in Hong Kong for the first time from Monday.
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