Beijing’s liaison office chief calls for national education push to show HK’s civil servants, youth ‘correct path’, says national security law ‘ended the madness’

01-Oct-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Beijing’s top man in Hong Kong has called for an urgent stepping up of national education for civil servants and youngsters, saying loving China is “not a choice, but a duty”, while noting the city’s sweeping new security law had “ended the madness” of last year’s civil unrest.

Luo Huining, director of Beijing’s liaison office, delivered Wednesday’s speech on the three-month anniversary of the legislation’s imposition on the city, and just ahead of National Day on October 1, for which police have mobilised thousands of officers to deal with potential protests.

“The National People’s Congress enacted the Hong Kong national security law to end the madness that was Hong Kong independence and the ‘black violence’ that ran amok,” Luo said, in reference to the colour worn by anti-government protesters, at a reception celebrating the People’s Republic of China’s 71st anniversary.

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The law, which took effect on June 30, criminalises acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with external forces to endanger national security.

The legislation was a “sharp sword hanging high” over those planning unauthorised demonstrations in Hong Kong on National Day, the liaison office warned in a Tuesday statement.

So far, there have been 26 arrests under the law, including that of a man charged with inciting secession and terrorism.

Luo said Chinese national consciousness and patriotism among Hongkongers must be bolstered urgently.

“As Chinese, loving the country is not a choice, but a duty and, even more so, the correct path,” Luo said.

Hong Kong should protect national sovereignty, security and developmental interests, and walk with the nation with one heart

Luo Huining, director of Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong

Hong Kong, especially its civil servants and young people, should receive increased education on national security, the country’s condition, Chinese history and culture, as well as the Chinese constitution and the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution, he said.

Under the national security law, Hong Kong civil servants must now take an oath to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the city.

Workers who joined the government after July 1 would need to take the oath to assume a permanent post, while the arrangements for existing civil servants were still pending consultation with unions, civil service secretary Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said on Friday.

Civil servants have staged multiple protests against the government during the extradition bill crisis, and some were arrested in relation to unauthorised assemblies.

“Hong Kong should protect national sovereignty, security and developmental interests, and walk with the nation with one heart,” Luo said.

“Only when Hong Kong does not compromise, shed responsibility or loosen its grip on important issues, can it free itself from the whirlpool of politicisation and the bounds of ‘black violence’ and ‘mutual destruction’.”

Some Hong Kong protesters have described their actions as “mutual destruction” or laam caau in Cantonese a way of dragging the Hong Kong and Chinese central governments into the city’s perceived downfall.

In his speech, Luo also said the people of Hong Kong had a “historical duty” of national rejuvenation alongside 1.4 billion others on the mainland. President Xi Jinping has put forward the idea of a “great national rejuvenation” as a guiding principle since taking power at the 18th national congress of the Communist Party in 2012.

Luo said Hong Kong should rejuvenate with China and take part in the Belt and Road Initiative and developments in the Greater Bay Area, a planned economic mega-hub in southern China.


Category: China

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