Published: 01:02, April 15, 2024
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Hong Kong’s prosperity stems from a society that is secure and stable
By Dominic Lee

The observance of National Security Education Day in Hong Kong has gained increased significance since the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong (NSL). This year, the day is particularly notable as it not only marks the fourth National Security Education Day since the introduction of the NSL but is also the first since the enactment of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. National security is a pillar of the State, essential for maintaining societal stability and the prosperity that comes with it. Education about national security is crucial in fostering a widespread awareness among residents, ensuring a stable and prosperous society under “one country, two systems”.

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The importance of national security extends to every family and indeed to the future of the nation. Without national security, Hong Kong residents cannot enjoy a stable life. The riots in 2019-20 made residents aware of the importance of safeguarding national security. During that period, external anti-China forces and local disruptors nearly pushed Hong Kong into the abyss, paralyzing its business operations. In response, the central government enacted the NSL to rectify the chaotic situation, transitioning Hong Kong from turmoil to governance. Life has since returned to normal, and the recently enacted Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, along with the NSL, has effectively deterred external hostile and separatist forces, safeguarding national security and Hong Kong’s well-being.

Earlier this month, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government set up the Working Group on Patriotic Education under the Constitution and Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee, which will work closely with related policy bureaus and departments to roll out a series of patriotism education activities, encouraging all sectors of society to organize relevant events voluntarily. Such collective efforts aimed at fostering a patriotic atmosphere throughout society is crucial for maintaining national sovereignty, security and development interests.

As we move forward, these sustained educational efforts will play a crucial role in ensuring enduring stability, security and prosperity of Hong Kong, fostering a hopeful and resilient society ready to face the challenges of tomorrow

The proactive promotion of patriotic education by the government represents a huge step forward from the past, when the focus was solely on providing facts about our nation without stressing the need to be patriotic. Undoubtedly, only through fostering a love for the country can residents naturally and conscientiously safeguard national security. Through education that instills a sense of national honor and identity among students, the government hopes to build a deeper national consciousness that inherently protects national security against disruptive forces from within and outside Hong Kong.

The annual National Security Education Day is a focal point of patriotism education. Every year, the HKSAR government organizes a series of promotional and educational activities to deepen understanding of national security across society. This year is no exception. Activities planned include flag-raising ceremonies, open days for disciplinary forces, demonstrations of the Chinese-style foot drill, tactical or rescue exercises, and displays of firearms and equipment. These activities are designed to educate the public about the efforts made by various disciplinary forces to prevent and counter national security risks. Additionally, carnivals focused on national security education are held across all 18 districts of Hong Kong.

As we continue to observe National Security Education Day each year, it remains a pivotal component of our broader efforts to instill a deep sense of patriotism and awareness of national security among residents. Such initiatives are vital for nurturing a lasting commitment to national security and patriotism among all residents. As we move forward, these sustained educational efforts will play a crucial role in ensuring enduring stability, security and prosperity of Hong Kong, fostering a hopeful and resilient society ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.

The author is the convener at China Retold, a member of the Legislative Council, and a member of the Central Committee of the New People’s Party.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.