CHINA / SOCIETY
HK seizes the day to catch up with national security education, something absent for decades
Published: Apr 15, 2021 10:58 PM
Police officers perform a new goose step, the same style used by police and troops on the Chinese mainland, at the city's police college before hosting the China and Hong Kong flags during an open day to celebrate the National Security Education Day in Hong Kong on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Police officers perform a new goose step, the same style used by police and troops on the Chinese mainland, at the city's police college before hosting the China and Hong Kong flags during an open day to celebrate the National Security Education Day in Hong Kong on Thursday. Photo: AFP

As Hong Kong for the first time celebrated the National Security Education Day on Thursday with unprecedented activities, local and central government officials vowed to remain vigilant to fend off national security risks, including those involving radical political figures and foreign hostile forces, after the national security law for Hong Kong served as "sword and shield" to close systemic loopholes that indulged violent protests in 2019. They also noted the improvement of the electoral system that will bring stability back to the city's political life. 

At the opening ceremony unveiling the day, officials hailed the national security law for Hong Kong and the ongoing reform of the electoral system as successes, which ended Hong Kong's history of being defenseless in the face of national security threats and guaranteed social stability and Hong Kong's future. 

Hong Kong's local legislative work for safeguarding national security has long been demonized by people with ulterior motives, turning the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) into a loophole of national security. It endangered not only the safety of Hong Kong people, but also that of the people of the whole country, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam told the opening ceremony. 

The national security law for Hong Kong established robust legal and enforcement mechanisms, and as national security and political security are inseparable, electoral reform for Hong Kong aims to achieve genuine national security, meaning that governance must be firmly held in the hands of patriots, Lam said. 

Officials from the central government's offices in Hong Kong also delivered the message of firmly defending national security in Hong Kong despite foreign sanctions or mounting external pressure. Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said the authorities will teach lessons to the external and foreign forces that attempted to take Hong Kong as a "chess piece," vowing to fight against all interference and take countermeasures resolutely when necessary. 

Zheng Yanxiong, director of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, who has rarely appeared or delivered public speeches since the office was established last year, thanked the legal professionals who supported the implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong. His office organized Hong Kong's first celebration of National Security Education Day. 

Since the national security law for Hong Kong took effect, 100 people allegedly engaging in activities endangering national security have been arrested, Commissioner of Police Chris Tang Ping-keung told the Global Times in an exclusive interview on Thursday.

Various activities celebrating this National Security Education Day were held across the city in places such as schools, academies of the five disciplined services and communities. 

At the Police College in Wong Chuk Hang, police officers for the first time performed Chinese-style foot drills for the public, including commanding swords and flags, to allow local residents to experience the connection to the motherland. 

"This was also the first time that the college, besides during graduation ceremonies, staged a ceremony raising the Chinese national flag and playing the national anthem for local residents," Tang said.

In HKFEW Wong Cho Bau Secondary School, students took part in a number of activities including raising the Chinese national flag and singing the national anthem, and studying the Constitution, the Basic Law and national security law, to "foster their recognition of national identity," Wong Kam Leung, chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung earlier emphasized that all students should understand they shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding national security. 

A total of 454 middle and primary schools in Hong Kong have taken part in online quizzes about national security, which are being held from Monday until April 19. Winners will be announced on June 30, the first anniversary of the national security law for Hong Kong taking effect, according to media reports. 

The notion of national security was weak or even non-existent among a majority of Hong Kong people, especially young people, Lau Siu-kai, vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

They opposed strenuously and unscrupulously the introduction of not only national security education in schools and communities, but also any form of national education, Basic Law education and education on the Constitution, Lau noted. 

"Events in Hong Kong in the past decade have starkly demonstrated the detrimental consequences of the absence of national security education in Hong Kong," he said.  

From the social turmoil in 2019, Hong Kong was proved to have become a base of subversion threatening China's sovereignty and overall national security, according to officials and experts. External and local hostile forces have aggressively exploited loopholes in the national security situation of Hong Kong to wreak havoc on the city and on the nation in general.

While the national security law for Hong Kong and the improvement of the electoral system are bringing the city back to the right track, it's not time to let down one's guard amid growing tensions with certain countries that advocate a Cold War mentality and continue manipulation on China-related topics such as Xinjiang and Taiwan, according to senior officials. 

In view of the enormous and increasing importance of safeguarding national security by Hong Kong people in the current turbulent international situation, educating Hong Kong students and the community about the importance of defending the central governance and national security is imperative, Lau noted. 


blog comments powered by Disqus