A matter of national security

Updated: 2017-03-09 07:15

(HK Edition)

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A matter of national security

In the work report he presented on Wednesday, Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC), reiterated the central government's unwavering stand over the issue of Hong Kong separatism. This subject was also mentioned for the first time in the government work report, which Premier Li Keqiang presented on Sunday, declaring that the cause of Hong Kong independence will lead nowhere.

Naturally, the ongoing "war" on separatism in Hong Kong has to be a hot topic throughout the "two sessions" since the nation's sovereignty, security and development interests as well as Hong Kong's stability and prosperity are at stake.

Zhang lashed out at Hong Kong separatists in a special section of the NPCSC Work Report in which he recounted the NPCSC's interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of the SAR last November.

It emphasizes the importance of Article 104 in its entirety and explains why lawmakers-elect must take the Legislative Council Oath exactly as required by relevant laws to show they will bear allegiance to the Basic Law and the Hong Kong SAR of People's Republic of China. It is a matter of course that those who fail to do so must bear all the consequences arising from their wrongdoings during the swearing-in, including disqualification as LegCo members according to existing laws.

That the central government has growing concern over national security is reflected not only in the direct remarks by State leaders on this issue, but also in a section of the NPCSC Work Report that concerns revision of NPC deputy election laws.

There is a particular clause in a draft law on NPC deputy elections at various levels that deals with the election of NPC deputies in Hong Kong and Macao. It requires candidates to declare upon filling out the application form for NPC deputy election candidacy that they are not receiving and will not receive any financial or material assistance from foreign entities of any nature, directly or otherwise. This shows how serious the country is about preventing foreign infiltration in any shape or form into the highest body of State power.

This is another example of how much effort the central government is making to drive home the conviction that national security must be maintained at all costs.

All these measures are designed to ensure no separatists or their sympathizers can find their way into important government positions or decision-making processes. It is never overkill to be on high alert against separatist tendencies or even ideas, because they will lead to very destructive actions if we let them spread and poison the minds of local residents - especially the younger generation.

We simply cannot afford to let it happen.

(HK Edition 03/09/2017 page8)