Published: 12:03, April 15, 2024
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Residents feel more secure, confident
By Wu Kunling in Hong Kong

Various open house events demonstrate both national security risks and progress in its protection

Spectators are enthralled by the performance of armed Special Duties Unit members during the Hong Kong Police College’s open house on April 14, 2024. ​(EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong residents had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of national security through a citywide educational campaign and open house events organized by disciplined forces over the weekend.

Participants of different ages and nationalities said they feel more secure and confident about living in the special administrative region, knowing national security is being safeguarded.

These activities were part of the commemorations for the ninth National Security Education Day on Monday, which will be highlighted by an opening ceremony and a seminar held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The weekend events included engaging open houses at the headquarters, operational divisions, and training campuses of disciplined forces.

A flag-raising ceremony is held at the Hong Kong Police College on April 14, 2024 morning as part of the National Security Education Day activities. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

The Hong Kong Police College in Wong Chuk Hang on Hong Kong Island, hosting one of the open houses, also celebrated the 180th anniversary of the Hong Kong Police Force.

The event featured exhibitions that reviewed the force’s history and covered national security knowledge, as well as performances by the police band, the police dog unit, and anti-terrorism drills involving helicopters, drones, and armed vehicles. Multiple police units, such as the Force Escort Group, the Counter Terrorism Response Unit, and the Special Duties Unit, demonstrated their daily work to the visitors, including the use of authentic equipment.

More than 2,500 residents attended the police college open house. Among them was Ho Chun-hei, a 15-year-old secondary school student. He said that he gained awareness of the potential security risks faced by Hong Kong and fostered a sense of responsibility to safeguard the city he calls home.

Security Secretary Chris Tang Ping-keung (third from right) attends the open house of the Immigration Service Institute of Training and Development on April 14, 2024. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

He found the firsthand observation of the police units’ operations most interesting, particularly the Force Escort Group responsible for escorting dignitaries, such as royal family members and visiting leaders of foreign countries and regions.

Fung Hau-yan, a Grade 4 secondary school student, recalled the brilliant demonstration conducted by the Special Duties Unit, in which they subdued criminals. The advanced equipment of the police force and their seamless coordination with police dogs also left a strong impression on her.

Hani Zhang and Nick Yao, a couple in their 30s who have been living in Hong Kong for a decade, said they found the event uplifting, in contrast to their experience during the social unrest in 2019.

The Force Escort Group and Police Dog Unit respectively march during the Hong Kong Police College’s open house on April 14, 2024. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Witnessing the grand demonstration by the police instilled in Zhang a greater sense of security and confidence in Hong Kong, as she knew that both the society and its residents are now fully protected. Yao, captivated by the counterterrorism exercises, captured memories through photographs.

Mohammad Ilyas, a 49-year-old Pakistani businessman residing in Hong Kong and frequently traveling for business, commended the city’s world-leading public security status.

While acknowledging certain security risks Hong Kong still faces, he expressed appreciation for the Police Force’s efficient handling of dangerous situations, and said he remains confident about the city’s future.

The Force Escort Group and Police Dog Unit respectively march during the Hong Kong Police College’s open house on April 14, 2024. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

A 45-year-old civil servant surnamed Leung said she was convinced of the presence of national security risks and their impact on social order, particularly after the experiences of the 2019 social unrest.

She found the interactive knowledge quiz game at the exhibition enjoyable and remarkably informative. Agreeing with her, Leung’s 64-year-old aunt said she believes that educating children about national security through such games would develop a stronger sense of what’s right and wrong at an early age.

Alice Zhu contributed to this story.