Beijing Official Warns Against Meddling04/15 06:18
Beijing's top official in Hong Kong on Thursday warned foreign forces not to
interfere with the "bottom line" of national security in the city, threatening
retaliation amid tensions between China and Western powers.
HONG KONG (AP) -- Beijing's top official in Hong Kong on Thursday warned
foreign forces not to interfere with the "bottom line" of national security in
the city, threatening retaliation amid tensions between China and Western
The U.S., Britain and their allies have condemned China's tightening control
over Hong Kong's freedoms, including the sweeping national security law and
electoral reforms that have all but silenced the once-vibrant opposition in the
"When it is time, actions must be taken in relation to any external or
foreign forces that may interfere Hong Kong affairs or attempts to use Hong
Kong as a pawn," said Luo Huining, director of the central government's liaison
office in Hong Kong.
"We will propose strong objections and teach them a lesson," he said at the
opening ceremony for Hong Kong's National Security Education Day.
Authorities marked the event with a police college open house, where police
personnel demonstrated the Chinese military's goose step march, replacing
British-style foot drills from the time Hong Kong was ruled by the U.K. until
the 1997 handover to China.
Critics say Beijing's crackdown -- aimed at reining in dissent after months
of anti-government protests in 2019 -- has eroded freedoms promised to Hong
Kong when it returned to China's rule. Most of the city's prominent
pro-democracy activists and advocates are currently facing charges, are in jail
or have fled abroad.
During his speech, Luo said that everyone in Hong Kong needs to respect the
legal responsibility of upholding national security in the city.
"Anyone who wants to go beyond the bottom line of national security, and
people's livelihood, the central authorities will never allow such acts."
Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam described the 2019 protests, which sometimes
erupted in violence, as "almost like terrorist activities." She also called
efforts by those advocating Hong Kong's independence and self-determination a
huge safety risk as the goal was to snatch power from the government.
"If this is not stopped, then national sovereignty, security, development
interests will be affected. So this is an unprecedented crisis," she said. "The
National Security Law in Hong Kong immediately restored stability in society."
Lam also said that public officers in Hong Kong have an important
responsibility in safeguarding national security.
In schools, students were encouraged to take part in activities including
"national security" mosaic walls with photos of students' faces, to teach that
people should work collectively to protect their homeland.
Authorities also encouraged schools to hold flag raising ceremonies, play
the national anthem and distributed brochures that stress the importance of