HK’s NPC deputies called on to take lead in safeguarding national security
Published: Mar 07, 2023 11:22 PM
Hong Kong File photo

Hong Kong File photo

Chinese senior officials on Hong Kong affairs met a delegation of Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing on Tuesday, pointing out that the city has entered a crucial development period following its transition from chaos to order and expecting those deputies to play a backbone role in safeguarding national security and helping the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to roll out policies. 

Zhao Leji, executive chairman of the presidium of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC), along with Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, and Zheng Yanxiong, head of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, met Hong Kong deputies to the NPC, who were elected in December 2022, media reported. Six deputies addressed the meeting, the delegation's head Ma Fung-kwok told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

When talking about the Hong Kong and Macao work over the past few years, Chinese senior officials believe that the situation in Hong Kong used to be very severe but the central government and HKSAR government have overcome difficulties and safeguarded the Basic Law and the Constitution while improving the electoral system, which is seen as a major breakthrough in practicing One Country, Two Systems, Ma said. 

In reviewing the work of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC on Tuesday, Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC, said the National Security Law (NSL) for Hong Kong filled a long-existing legislative vacuum with regard to national security in Hong Kong while the electoral reform is "helping to develop an effective system for democratic elections." 

As Hong Kong has been witnessing the transition from chaos to order, it is time for the city to embrace a period of development and prosperity, and the next five years will be crucial. The city is expected to play out its unique advantages in helping achieving the rejuvenation of the nation, according to some deputies attending the meeting. 

"I feel that the central government indeed cares very much about Hong Kong and highly appreciates our advantages in sectors such as finance and common law system, which we should continue maintaining," Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, a Hong Kong deputy who attended the meeting, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

"In the next five years, we need to make new breakthroughs in helping to connect the country with the world, as the largest advantage of Hong Kong is being backed by the Chinese mainland," Leung said, noting that the city should also play the role in the Greater Bay Area in helping to increase the global influence of the country. 

Despite the implementation of the NSL for Hong Kong, senior Chinese officials reminded of the potential national risks toward which the Hong Kong deputies should remain vigilant and help the HKSAR government guard against.  

Lau Siu-kai, a consultant from the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies who is also a senior policy advisor, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the central government has concerns over the future wrestling between China and some countries in the West, and potential military conflicts in the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea, in which Hong Kong will face national security risks. 

"It's impossible for Hong Kong to stay away from the escalating China-US tensions. And some Western countries are trying to attack the mainland by smearing Hong Kong's political situation," Lau said. 

"Due to geopolitical reasons, the US-led West will use all kinds of means to contain our development, and Hong Kong as an international metropolis will become their target to contain our country," Ma said. 

Leung also reminded that as some young Hong Kong residents are still seeking opportunities to make trouble, especially as the Taiwan question is under the spotlight, those secessionists could use those "honest anti-China figures in Hong Kong," toward whom we should remain vigilant. 

"It's also important to help Hong Kong residents truly understand our country, especially among the Hong Kong youth, to help them become truly patriotic," she said.