Hong Kong national security law: Beijing’s top envoy in city hails police, warns ‘hostile foreign forces’ still at play
- Liaison office director Zheng Yanxiong praises work of officers at passing-out parade at police college
- He says force has made significant contributions to Hong Kong’s ‘transition from chaos to order’
Liaison office director Zheng Yanxiong, who inspected officers at a passing-out parade at the Hong Kong Police College in Wong Chuk Hang, also hailed officers’ efforts as a “heroic work of honour”. The force had eased entry requirements in the past year amid a hiring slump.
Zheng is the first liaison office chief to inspect a police passing-out parade. He took over his current position in January and attended a similar parade last July as the head of Beijing’s national security commission in the city.
But he cautioned there was still a long road ahead in the mission to safeguard national security.
“There are still hostile foreign forces trying to disrupt Hong Kong’s development and stability, and anti-China elements are attempting to make a comeback in Hong Kong,” Zheng insisted.
“The police force should steadfastly safeguard the constitutional order of the special administrative region, rigorously enforce the national security law and local legislation, and make every effort in building a solid defence line for national security.”
The US last month slammed Hong Kong for “ongoing harassment” against family members of the wanted and jailed activists. Beijing has since hit back, accusing Washington of “desecrating” Hong Kong’s rule of law and having double standards in national security.
“I want to tell everyone that the police force is a profession of honour. They are the guardians of the security of the country and citizens. They are heroes who face dangers that are too harsh for ordinary people, and bear pressures that are too heavy for ordinary folk,” he told the graduates.
He also urged the force to contribute to preserving Hong Kong’s reputation as the safest city in Asia and support district councils and local care teams in serving the community.
The parade marked the graduation of 28 probationary inspectors and 113 recruit police constables.
Interest in police recruitment had waned following political unrest in 2019, where law enforcement had been on the front lines of crackdowns on anti-government protesters and opposition activists in an increasingly polarised society.
Police Commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee on Saturday said the force’s relaxation of entry criteria in May had boosted the number of applications.
He noted that 5,241 people had applied to join between May and August, representing a 74 per cent surge from the same period last year.
A breakdown of the figure also showed police constable applications had increased by 91 per cent from the year before.