If HK civil servants don’t follow this rule, they will be dismissed or ordered to retire early
Published: Dec 12, 2020 01:08 PM

Photo taken on Aug. 5, 2019 shows China's national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, south China. Photo: Xinhua

 All civil servants of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will be required to take an oath or sign a declaration pledging their allegiance to Hong Kong and upholding the Basic Law. According to hk01.com, a Hong Kong-based media outlet, the provision is expected to come into effect by the end of this month, and civil servants who refuse to take the oath or sign the declaration will be dismissed or ordered to retire early.

I believe this step is necessary and timely in a juncture when efforts are being made to fundamentally improve Hong Kong's situation.

Civil servants are the backbone of the Hong Kong governance and the pivotal point for implementing country's national principles and policies. This team must firmly stand with the Basic Law, the HKSAR government and the country. Some civil servants in Hong Kong previously bolstered radical protesters by various means, which impaired the HKSAR government's efforts to restore the order.

Civil servants are a special profession. This team must be a role model for abiding by laws and regulations. It is normal to ask them to uphold the Basic Law. Being loyal to the HKSAR government is not only a manifestation of support for the Basic Law, but also the professional integrity of being employed by the Hong Kong SAR government. As citizens in Hong Kong, they have the option of not taking the oath or signing the declaration, but leaving their positions of civil servants should be a joint option corresponding to other choices. A civil servant must be subject to necessary constraints and has to fulfil related obligations.

Freedom means the right of option, but it does not involve the freedom to not perform related obligations after having made a certain choice. As a mainlander, I believe the majority of civil servants in Hong Kong understand the significance of such a rule and will not be swayed by certain forces. Hong Kong is a city of exceptional circumstances, yet it has been undermined by the turmoil taking place in 2019. I sincerely hope it can completely recover.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn