Citing President Xi Jinping, Beijing envoy Luo Huining pledges to boost HK patriotism and national security

21-Jan-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Beijing’s new envoy to Hong Kong has pledged to help the city government protect national security and boost young people’s sense of patriotism, warning that failure to do so could open the door to “infiltration and sabotage activities” from abroad.

Luo Huining, director of the central government’s liaison office in the city, added that, with Hong Kong in “the most complex situation” since its return to Chinese rule in 1997, public confidence that Beijing’s governing principle would help it overcome its various social and political challenges was key.

He suggested that the “one country, two systems” principle would ensure Hong Kong remains stable and prospers with the rest of China.

His pledge appeared in a commentary in Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily on Monday, which centred on how the liaison office chief interpreted a speech made by President Xi Jinping during a visit to Macau last month.

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In it, Luo, who replaced Wang Zhimin as director in a surprise move announced on January 4, called on the city to learn from Macau on patriotic education.

Xi, during a visit to a secondary school in Macau, praised the education system there. Luo agreed with Xi, saying “patriotic education is also very important to Hong Kong”.

He expected various sectors of society to support the Hong Kong government and schools in “strengthening young people’s national awareness and national identity”. That could be done by educating young people about China’s history, culture and the latest developments, as well as about the Chinese constitution and the Basic Law, he said.

Luo noted that Xi also highlighted Beijing’s firm stance of not allowing any foreign interference in Hong Kong and Macau affairs.

He said that, in this regard, Macau’s government and people had a “high degree of consensus and awareness” about protecting national security.

“There is only the responsibility of one country, and no distinction between the two systems,” he wrote.

Luo warned: “If national security systems and mechanisms are absent for a long time in special administrative regions, external forces will be able to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities, resulting in extremely high risks of impacting and destroying the implementation of one country, two systems.”

Luo, who previously expressed support for the Hong Kong administration in ending violence and restoring social order, for the first time explicitly spelled out Beijing’s support for strengthened law enforcement.

The liaison office will learn about and carry out what President Xi said in his speeches on Hong Kong and Macau… We will strive to improve the implementation of one country, two systems to build a better future for Hong Kon

Luo Huining

“[We] support the Hong Kong government… in establishing and improving the legal system and its enforcement mechanism, as well as strengthening law enforcement forces to make up for the shortcomings of Hong Kong’s one country, two systems,” he said.

His article concluded: “The liaison office will learn about and carry out what President Xi said in his speeches on Hong Kong and Macau… We will strive to improve the implementation of one country, two systems to build a better future for Hong Kong.”

Macau’s national security law, which took effect in 2009, prohibits acts of “treason, secession and subversion” against the central government, as well as “preparatory acts” ing to such things. Some of the outlined offences carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail.

In 2003, the Hong Kong government withdrew similar legislation after an estimated half a million people took to the streets to oppose it, citing fears that civil liberties would be eroded.

Last month, when Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor visited Beijing, she was asked if she would relaunch the legislative process. She answered that it could only be done if the conditions are right.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/citing-president-xi-jinping-beijing-071354901.html

 


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