National security law ‘makes HK people more secure’

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/1 22:23:40 Last Updated: 2020/7/2 0:45:08

Endless nightmare for rioters, separatists in HK has just begun: expert

The Hong Kong Celebrations Association, a non-profit organization, held various activities on Wednesday to celebrate the passage of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. (Photo/China News Service)

 Hong Kong celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the return to the motherland on Wednesday, and with the enactment of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, Hong Kong residents and analysts said the people of the city will be more secure and free from harm by rioters and separatists who gang up with foreign forces, and the law is a gift that the motherland presented to the SAR.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam and senior SAR government officials attended a flag-raising ceremony to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday. The ceremony was held at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, according to the HKSAR government website.

Lam said at the ceremony that the enactment of the law is regarded as "the most significant development in the relationship between the central authorities and the Hong Kong SAR since Hong Kong's return to the motherland." 

"It is a historical step to improve the system for Hong Kong to safeguard our country's sovereignty, territorial integrity and security. It is also an essential and timely decision for restoring stability in Hong Kong. The significance of this decision is multifaceted," she said.

Many of Hong Kong's patriotic social groups and residents also shared the encouraging sentiment. They organized a series of assemblies across the city to celebrate the anniversary, as well as the passage of the national security law for Hong Kong. Hong Kong residents said that the city on Wednesday was turned into "a sea of national flags."

More secure

Angus Ng Hok Ming, executive president of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Youth Association, told the Global Times on Wednesday the biggest difference that he felt on July 1st this year is that "the residents and young people who are patriotic don't have to feel worried anymore."

What Ng was worried about was that in July 2019, the turmoil sparked by the amendment of the extradition bill became increasingly violent with separatist rioters storming the Legislative Council of the HKSAR on July 1. In the following months, a series of massive violent incidents occurred one by one and continued to damage the public order and the city's economic activity.

During the 2019 turmoil, people who held differing opinions, especially those who supported the Hong Kong police and other patriotic residents , were attacked. For instance, a 70-year-old elderly person was killed by rioters in a conflict in November 2019, and another elderly person was set on fire by radical protesters and rioters at a subway station in the same month.

Angus Ng, also an organizer for patriotic events in Hong Kong, said that "last year, the atmosphere in the city was extremely intense, making normal people unable to breathe. Now we are not afraid anymore, and rioters are now scared due to the enactment of the law."  

Andy Lee, a businessman who owned a store at Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, said that just like other small businesses, his business was seriously impacted by a series of protests and violent incidents last year.

Lee told the Global Times on Wednesday that "I was witness to all those horrible things last year and it was scary… Thanks to the great efforts made by the police, our businesses could return to normal. After the enactment of the law, I am much more relaxed now."

"Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, we have very few tourists and my business is still not very good, but at least, we feel safe and relieved…," he noted, "You can see [Chinese] national flags everywhere in the city today."

The change that the law has brought to ordinary people's lives are very few because it targets very specific cases that are related to national security affairs, but it acts as a very powerful deterrent against illegal activities and help the city to restore public order.

In 2019, branches of many Chinese mainland firms, banks and stores in Hong Kong that sold mainland products got attacked and even burned by separatists and rioters, but now they also return to normal, according to Hong Kong residents.

The enactment of the law is a turning point to bring Hong Kong out of its current impasse and restore stability and order from the chaos, Lam remarked at the ceremony. She said that "the HKSAR government will do its utmost and remain steadfast in its duties to fulfill the primary responsibility of implementing the law," and "I will soon set up a committee on safeguarding national security in the HKSAR."

Nightmares for the bad guys

Although some Western and Hong Kong media outlets have heavily criticized the national security law by saying that the law is damaging the autonomy of the HKSAR and will harm human rights, observers noted that the most serious threat to Hong Kong's economy and human rights at the moment is not the law, but the chaotic situation created by rioters, separatists, radical protesters and foreign forces who stand behind them.

So the urgent mission for the central government to help the HKSAR at the moment is to stop the chaos and violence, and create a stable and peaceful environment for the city, as this is the precondition for the city to resolve its deep-rooted economic problems.

Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, solicitor of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Wednesday that "the law is a huge gift that the central government has presented to the HKSAR on the day of the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland. But for rioters, separatists and foreign forces, the endless nightmare has just begun."

"I hope those infamous anti-government activists who colluded with foreign forces get punished by the law as soon as possible and the public should be allowed to watch the whole process," Wong noted. 


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