On Wednesday morning, the office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) was inaugurated, as required by the newly-passed national security legislation.
According to an official government release, the office led by Zheng Yanxiong, who was appointed by the State Council last week, is tasked to set up, supervise, guide and coordinate with and support the HKSAR in performing its duties to safeguard national security.
Mr Zheng was the former head of the Communist Party committee in the city of Shanwei in Guangdong province, and is famously known for criticizing villages in Wukan for talking to foreign media over their discontent on compensation for land requisitioned by the government in 2011.
He went on local tv saying “These media organisations will only be happy when our socialist county falls apart.”
During the inauguration ceremony, Luo Huining, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, explains that the office for safeguarding national security is “the envoy of Hong Kong’s security” and “the gatekeeper of national security,”.
Luo also holds the position of director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, which is another bureau dispatched to the HKSAR by the central government in 1997 when China resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong.
Based on recently transpired events, the newly inaugurated national security office is the fourth bureau to be set up. A government statement said the office will analyse and appraise the national security situation in the HKSAR, as well as provide comments and suggestions for major strategies and policies as per the law.
Intelligence information concerning national security will also be collected and analysed and criminal cases concerning national security will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
The national security office in Hong Kong strictly comply to perform its mandate in accordance with the law. It will be subject to supervision in accordance with the law, and will not infringe upon the lawful rights and interests of any individual or organization according to Luo who also holds the post of national security adviser to the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR.
Assistance will also be offered “as much as possible” by the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council. The mainland office released a statement stating it hopes to preserve safety, national sovereignty and developing interests by working hand-in-hand with the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR.
The necessity of the office was explained CGTN by Tian Feeling, director of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies to local media house, CGTN.
While pointing out the widespread demonstrations that broke out last June were sometimes violent, Tian commented “Hong Kong failed to complete the legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law over the past 23 years.” “Risks of colour revolutions and homeland terrorism are lurking in Hong Kong, featuring unprecedented interference by external forces and subversive political threats.”
The power of the central government office would be “restrained” according to Tian. “It (the office) only exercises jurisdiction over a small number of cases that are beyond the scope of HKSAR’s law enforcement capabilities or may involve foreign participants. Often such case, if left unattended to, may leave China’s national security in grave peril,” he said.
“The direct jurisdiction from the central government can help avoid the institutional risk of HKSAR government circumventing the emergency provisions of Article 18 of the Basic Law for a lack of law enforcement competence,” he added.
8th July 18:20
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