Hong Kong has lived under a new security law imposed by Beijing for less than a year. That is hardly long enough for ordinary people to tell whether it might make much difference for better or worse to their lives. But this became clearer on Thursday, at least from Beijing’s point of view, at a ceremony to mark the first National Security Education Day since the new law was introduced. Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong said the national security law set the stage for solving broader, deep-seated social and livelihood problems. This can only mean, among other things, inadequate land supply and unaffordable housing that sees people living in tiny subdivided flats, an issue previously identified by Beijing as a cause of social unrest in 2019. Luo Huining, director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, told the ceremony that national security was a “bottom line” and key to solving a variety of social issues with the central government’s support. He cited President Xi Jinping’s view that security and development were complementary and mutually reinforcing. In that respect, security is broadly defined to include potential threats to social harmony and stability such as stock market turmoil, food shortages and global environmental issues such as climate change. Previously Hong Kong marked April 15, which was declared National Security Day by Beijing in 2015, with a symposium organised by a think tank. Following adoption of the national security law last June by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the city’s government has taken the lead, which accounts for Thursday’s citywide fanfare. Apart from the ceremony, the government also mobilised kindergartens and schools to mark the occasion, while the academies of five disciplined services organised open days. Booths were set up in squares in the Central, Tsim Sha Tsui and Sha Tin districts for residents to have their photos taken for a mosaic wall celebrating national security, while an exhibition on the topic will run until May 2 at the City Gallery in Central. The aim is to raise awareness of the significance of national security. Arguably this has been accomplished by the wide coverage in news and comment of the introduction of the law and subsequent events. But Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor told the ceremony, rightly, that more should be done to educate Hong Kong people. It is all very well to have a big fanfare about a day focusing on national security, but raising awareness and educating people about the issues will take time and should also include awareness of rights and freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law.