Date
26 February 2020
Luo Huining, the new director of Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong, stressed the importance of national security in the implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle. Photo: HKEJ
Luo Huining, the new director of Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong, stressed the importance of national security in the implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle. Photo: HKEJ

HK must plug security loophole, says liaison office chief

If Hong Kong continues to be a missing part of the country’s national security system over a long period of time, the “one country, two systems” principle will be at great risk because of the loophole, the new director of Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong said.

In an article published in the state mouthpiece People’s Daily on Monday, Luo Huining expressed his views on issues regarding national security for the first time since he took office on Jan. 6, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Luo said the loophole must be plugged, otherwise, foreign forces can easily find their way into Hong Kong and cause damage.

If that happens, the “one country, two systems” principle could be attacked and damaged, he said.

Citing President Xi Jinping’s speech delivered in Macau in December last year, Luo said Hong Kong must be unwaveringly confident in the principle because it holds the key for the city to overcome all risks and challenges while moving forward.

Luo stressed, citing Xi, that Hong Kong and Macau affairs fall entirely within China’s internal affairs, and therefore no external forces are allowed to interfere in them.

He pledged that the central government will continue to support Hong Kong in setting up a mechanism regarding national security and strengthening enforcement powers so that the systemic shortcomings in Hong Kong’s version of the principle can be fixed to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests as well as ensure the city’s long-term prosperity.

Luo also noted that it is important to strengthen national education for Hong Kong youth to enhance their national awareness and ethnic identity.

In a speech at the liaison office’s Spring Reception last week, Luo said Hong Kong’s top priority is to stop the violence and curb disorder in the city.

Commenting on Luo’s article, Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Wan Siu-kin said it can be associated with the legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law, which deals with national security issues.

Wan suspected that some people from the pro-establishment camp might have suggested to Luo to persuade the government to push for the legislation, which he personally believes is very unlikely to happen.

Lau Siu-kai, vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, pointed out that Beijing has many ways to “plug the loophole” other than through Article 23 legislation. He cited the interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People’s Congress or asking the chief executive to deal with the matter.

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