HONG KONG - The central government’s top liaison official in Hong Kong called on the city to shoulder its shared responsibility with the country in safeguarding national sovereignty, safety and development interests.
Wang Zhimin, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, also urged Hong Kong to carefully consider local legislation on Article 23 of the Basic Law. The article stipulates the city’s constitutional obligation to have a national security law.
Wong said no place within the country should become a national security loophole.
Potential risks that may affect or even threaten national security had not been effectively eliminated in Hong Kong, since the city had not enacted Article 23 of the Basic Law, Wang added.
He made the remarks during a dinner with Hong Kong’s pro-establishment lawmakers on Monday night. At the gathering, Wang shared his analysis of policies laid out in the report delivered at 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
The dinner marks the first time Wang gathered with the city’s pro-establishment lawmakers since he assumed office in September.
He said the report had stressed that the Party would continue to support Hong Kong and Macao SAR governments and chief executives of both regions, so they could fulfill their constitutional responsibility of safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests.
Wang also shared his views on upholding the principle of “one country, two systems”. This has now been included into the Party’s basic policy to develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era.
Wang said that by including the principle in the Party’s basic policy, the congress spelt out the new status for Hong Kong and the principle, placing both in a new position in the Party’s work and the nation’s overall development.
He emphasized that the central government enjoys overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong as the city’s high degree of autonomy is guaranteed by the “one country, two systems” principle and is authorized by the central government.
Wang therefore called on Hong Kong society to accurately understand Hong Kong’s constitutional status and its source of power. He said this would ensure the ship of “one country, two systems” would sail steadily and go the distance.
On the Party’s resolution to support Hong Kong’s integration into the country’s overall development, Wang said many development strategies rolled out at the congress were closely connected to the city.
Hong Kong people should learn and digest such information, timely grasp the opportunities and turn them into benefits for the whole city, Wang said.
Moreover, Wang expressed his hope for more frequent communication between Hong Kong and the mainland. This would include better promotion of national education to raise national pride among the city’s young people.
He ascribed his hope to the congress report, which said the Party would foster greater patriotism and a stronger sense of national identity among people in Hong Kong.
The 19th CPC National Congress emphasized Hong Kong as the congress’s resolution lifted “one country, two systems” to one of the fundamental policies in the Party’s guiding principle in the new era of development – Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.