Patriotism is an obligation, not a choice for Chinese people, Beijing’s point man in Hong Kong has said in urging local civil servants and young people to be better educated about loyalty to the country.
The enactment of a national security law by Beijing for Hong Kong in the summer had ended a “blatant, savage and divisive” upheaval touting independence and brought about a major turning point taking the city from chaos to law and order, said Luo Huining, the director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong.
He reiterated that there would be room for “two systems” only by upholding China’s bottom line of “one country.”
As a special administrative region of China, the city is meant to practice the principles of “one country, two systems,” “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high degree of autonomy as well as executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication, as enshrined in the Basic Law, the city’s constitutional document.
In his speech, delivered on Wednesday at an event for the celebration of the Mid-autumn Festival and National Day, Luo particularly mentioned civil servants and young people as two groups of people who had to improve their knowledge of China’s constitution, Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the national security law, and Chinese history and culture.
Being Chinese meant that patriotism was not a choice but an obligation and the way of righteousness, Luo said.
One local pan-democratic lawmaker said that Beijing’s motive was ultimately about turning Hong Kong from an international city into a mainland Chinese province.
Luo’s words reflected the extreme left stance of the Communist Party on Hong Kong, by seeking to transfer to the city the type of high-pressured governance and suppression of voices exercised on the mainland, said Wu Chi-wai, the chairperson of the Democratic Party.
“They are only shutting out the problems and allowing deep-rooted conflicts in Hong Kong society to remain in the long run,” Wu told Apple Daily.
He cited many recent public opinion polls as clearly showing that more than half of the Hong Kong people had given zero points to the local government and Chief Executive Carrie Lam. “The Communist Party thinks Hong Kong will become better through hard-line measures; however, history tells us that the result would be exactly the opposite.”
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