Published: 15:32, April 15, 2024 | Updated: 10:20, April 16, 2024
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Citywide activities deepen HK people’s awareness of national security
By Atlas Shao, Stephy Zhang and Wu Kunling in Hong Kong
Residents wave the national flags during a bus parade to celebrate the National Security Education Day in Hong Kong on April 15, 2024. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Citywide official and community activities were held in Hong Kong on Monday to commemorate the ninth National Security Education Day, aiming at enhancing public awareness of safeguarding national security.

This year’s events were among the largest ever held in the city as the day also marked the 10th anniversary of the promulgation of President Xi Jinping’s holistic approach to national security, and the first National Security Education Day celebrated in the city since the enactment last month of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance according to Article 23 of the Basic Law.

Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki and officers from the city’s disciplined services attended a flag-raising ceremony at the Hong Kong Police College in the morning.

Addressing the ceremony, Chan reviewed the legislative progress made by the special administrative region in safeguarding national security. He highlighted the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, which curbed the chaos and restored stability, as well as the enactment of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, which has improved Hong Kong’s legal system and law enforcement mechanism.

Chan also pledged that the SAR government will integrate national security education with patriotic education — especially among the younger generation — to strengthen the public sense of national pride and appreciation for Chinese culture.

Residents wave the national flags during a bus parade to celebrate the National Security Education Day in Hong Kong on April 15, 2024. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

He said these efforts will receive valuable assistance from the newly established Working Group on Patriotic Education under the Constitution and Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee.

In Sheung Shui, the New Territories, a separate flag-raising ceremony was co-organized by the government, the New Territories Association of Societies North District committee and multiple other groups.

Highlighting the importance of community engagement, Secretary for Security Chris Tang Ping-keung said that the government, social groups and residents are all participants, promoters and beneficiaries in terms of safeguarding national security.

Tang, speaking at a seminar hosted by the Federation of Hong Kong Guangdong Community Organizations, said the government will intensify its endeavors to promote national security education through multiple channels. Hong Kong-based foreign chambers of commerce and the city’s overseas economic and trade offices can also be involved in this process, he said.

In Kowloon’s Sham Shui Po, a simulated court trial was conducted publicly at the site of the former North Kowloon Magistracy to show how the judicial system operates. These creative activities, including a virtual-reality knowledge quiz and a lecture, were held jointly by the government and social groups to promote knowledge of national security issues.

Student representatives, district officers and councilors in Sham Shui Po district pose for a group photo before kicking off celebratory activities for National Security Education Day on Monday at the former North Kowloon Magistracy. The district marked the special day this year with a simulated court trial, seminars, and a virtual-reality quiz on national security. (STEPHY ZHANG / CHINA DAILY)

During the lecture, barrister Albert Wu Yingpeng said that a robust legal framework safeguarding national security provides the city with double the strength to develop its economy.

Among the participants, Lam Tsz-chiu, a student from Buddhist Tai Hung College, said that the simulated court trial was fresh and informative.

Wang Junyan, a student of the City University of Hong Kong, said she enjoyed participating in the VR quiz, noting that the interactive game conveyed knowledge in an interesting way.

A One Heart Hong Kong Union-organized bus parade took place in Yau Tsim Mong district, with members on the street distributing leaflets on national security education to passersby.

Lo Hau-lin, a 60-year-old volunteer, expressed her appreciation for the current peace and safety in the city. She said she cherished the opportunity to contribute to the National Security Education Day activities and had left home at 6 am for the event.

“I think these publicity activities help the public to know more about national security and cultivate a stronger sense of national security among people,” she said.

Reporting the positive community feedback, Lo said people she encountered were very willing to accept the leaflets.

Chan Gang, who received a leaflet, said it was meaningful to have national security education activities. “Without national security, it’s hard for Hong Kong to seek development,” he said, adding that with laws on safeguarding national security, “life in Hong Kong is much more peaceful than before”.

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