On April 15 every year since 2016, the whole nation has marked the National Security Education Day, an exercise of utmost importance to driving home the sense of civic duty in contributing to national security. As an inalienable part of the country, Hong Kong is without question obligated and required to do its best in safeguarding national security as well. That is why a high-level symposium was held here on Monday to shed more light on the necessity and importance of national security from a local perspective. It was the second one after the inaugural edition held a year ago, but it does not mean we need to discuss the matter only once a year.
Wang Zhimin, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor both spoke at the National Security Education Day symposium to share their understanding of national security with the public and refresh people’s memory of some important words from President Xi Jinping, specifically his speech at the ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the HKSAR on July 1, 2017 here in Hong Kong. In addition to praising, congratulating and encouraging Hong Kong society for playing a unique and irreplaceable role in the country’s reform and opening-up drive, Xi also emphasized that any attempt to undermine national security by causing trouble in Hong Kong is absolutely impermissible.
In his speech on Monday Wang cited as example the illegal “Occupy Central” movement in the fall of 2014, which turned out to be an extremely costly lesson in how much Hong Kong depends on national security for its own well-being and development. Throughout the 79-day disruption of normal life around several strategic spots in business districts of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, the central government and mainland compatriots stood firmly in support of the HKSAR Government to handle the situation strictly according to the Basic Law, the relevant resolution reached by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee regarding democratic elections in Hong Kong as well as Hong Kong laws. At the end of the day Hong Kong residents’ confidence in the SAR government, the Basic Law and ultimately the central government prevailed, leaving the “occupiers” no choice but to give up and surrender.
Furthermore, as Carrie Lam noted in her speech at the symposium on Monday, there are many ways for Hong Kong to fulfill its constitutional responsibility of serving national security to the best of its abilities. That is because national security covers a full range of essential concerns, not just political stability and national defense. In fact, it affects every aspect of our lives, such as the economy, finance, food, health and privacy in the internet era, to name just a few. Without national security any one or all of these basic needs could be threatened or worse. This means Hong Kong society simply cannot afford to neglect its responsibility for national security, which is, after all, in its own best interest.
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