Safe­guard­ing na­tional se­cu­rity in the SAR brings HK so­ci­ety con­fi­dence for fu­ture

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HONG KONG - By GANG WEN in Hong Kong gang­wen@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Hong Kong’s busi­ness com­mu­nity, aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, and re­li­gious groups ex­pressed con­fi­dence over their fu­ture prospects — stress­ing that the new na­tional se­cu­rity law will help re­store sta­bil­ity in the city.

The Hong Kong Gen­eral Cham­ber of Com­merce (HKGCC), one of the old­est and largest busi­ness cham­bers in the city, said the pas­sage of the na­tional se­cu­rity law is in­stru­men­tal to restor­ing sta­bil­ity and cer­tainty to Hong Kong, which ben­e­fits the busi­ness sec­tor.

The so­cial un­rest last year was a se­vere blow to the lo­cal econ­omy, the cham­ber said in a state­ment. “Vi­o­lent protests have dam­aged the rep­u­ta­tion of Hong Kong as a safe, in­ter­na­tional city, re­sult­ing in re­duced tourism and busi­ness in­ter­ests,” its state­ment read.

Hong Kong needs a sta­ble so­cial en­vi­ron­ment for eco­nomic developmen­t, the state­ment said.

Mil­son Ye­ung, a 30-year-old direc­tor of a lo­cal tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion com­pany, said his own busi­ness had suf­fered se­ri­ous set­backs dur­ing the past year of so­cial strife. Ye­ung sup­ports the na­tional se­cu­rity law, say­ing it will cre­ate a friendly so­cial and po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment for Hong Kong, which will help im­prove its science and tech­nol­ogy sec­tor and at­tract more main­land and over­seas tal­ents.

Aca­demics also ex­pressed their sup­port for the law. Chair­men of the coun­cils of the eight govern­ment-funded uni­ver­si­ties is­sued a joint state­ment in sup­port of the pro­mul­ga­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the na­tional se­cu­rity law for Hong Kong.

“In ad­di­tion to pro­tect­ing our na­tional se­cu­rity, the new law will help safe­guard Hong Kong’s pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity as well as ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’, with a view to putting an end to the year­long so­cial in­sta­bil­ity that Hong Kong has suf­fered,” the state­ment read.

The chair­men ap­pealed to ev­ery­one in the aca­demic com­mu­nity to re­main stead­fast in their re­spec­tive roles, to make con­tin­u­ous con­tri­bu­tions to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions by lever­ag­ing Hong Kong’s tra­di­tional strengths in aca­demic free­dom, cul­tural di­ver­sity, and broad in­ter­na­tional perspectiv­es.

Dur­ing the year­long so­cial tur­moil, uni­ver­si­ties in Hong Kong were turned into bat­tle­fields. Uni­ver­si­ties were in­vaded, oc­cu­pied by rad­i­cals, and turned into stronghold­s against law en­force­ment in Novem­ber. The chaos in­ter­rupted the se­mes­ter, with fac­ul­ties and stu­dents flee­ing the cam­pus due to safety con­cerns.

Re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Bud­dhist, Daoist and Is­lamic groups, in sep­a­rate state­ments, said the na­tional se­cu­rity law will be con­ducive to restor­ing so­cial sta­bil­ity and safe­guard­ing re­li­gious rights and free­doms.

In a state­ment, the Po Lin Monastery on Lan­tau Is­land, which had a sym­bolic Bud­dha statue built in the name of sta­bil­ity in Hong Kong, the pros­per­ity of the na­tion as well as peace on Earth, spelled out the im­por­tance of the na­tional se­cu­rity law with a ref­er­ence to their be­liefs.

“Sid­dhartha (the pri­mary fig­ure in Bud­dhism) re­ca­pit­u­lated monas­tic rules and prin­ci­ples to clar­ify the or­tho­doxy and pre­vent the wrong and evil; (sim­i­larly,) our na­tion is im­prov­ing its le­gal sys­tem to curb vi­o­lence and re­store or­der,” the state­ment said.

Vi­o­lent protests have dam­aged the rep­u­ta­tion of Hong Kong as a safe, in­ter­na­tional city, re­sult­ing in re­duced tourism and busi­ness in­ter­ests. Hong Kong needs a sta­ble so­cial en­vi­ron­ment for eco­nomic developmen­t.’’ the Hong Kong Gen­eral Cham­ber of Com­merce

CHINA DAILY

Hong Kong res­i­dents cel­e­brate the 23rd an­niver­sary of Hong Kong’s re­turn to the moth­er­land at the Vic­to­ria Peak on Wed­nes­day. They wave na­tional flags and flags of the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, and dis­play a ban­ner ex­press­ing their sup­port for the na­tional se­cu­rity law that took ef­fect on Tues­day.

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