Chinese “patriots” governing Hong Kong have guided the city from a state of “chaos” to stability over the past several months, Chinese dictator Xi Jinping told Hong Kong government authorities on Wednesday.
“Hong Kong’s transition from chaos to stability has once again demonstrated that the principle of ‘patriots governing Hong Kong’ must be always upheld to ensure the steady and sustained implementation of ‘one country, two systems,’” Xi said during a January 27 video conference with Hong Kong government leaders.
“It is the fundamental principle that concerns national sovereignty, security, and development interests, as well as Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability in the long run,” he added.
Wednesday’s meeting covered the Hong Kong government’s work in 2020 and its response to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, among other topics, according to China’s official state press agency, Xinhua.
Beijing imposed an illegal national security law on Hong Kong last summer to quash a pro-democracy protest movement that had persisted in the city over the preceding year. The legislation undermined the city’s limited autonomy, which was allowed under a “One Country, Two Systems” policy agreed to by Beijing in 1997 after Britain handed Hong Kong back to China post-colonial rule.
Under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy, laws passed in Beijing do not legally apply in Hong Kong. The national security law defies this agreement, allowing Hong Kong police to arrest citizens for perpetrating new crimes listed under the law. Collusion with a foreign government, secession, terrorism, and “subversion of state power,” a vague catchall, are among the new crimes listed under the national security law punishable by a minimum of ten years in prison. Hong Kong security forces have ramped up detentions under the law in recent weeks, arresting and assigning prison sentences to the pro-democracy movement’s leaders.
“What should be noted is that since the National People’s Congress Standing Committee adopted the national security law in the HKSAR, you have led the HKSAR government in resolutely enforcing it, stopping violence and chaos in accordance with the law and working to bring Hong Kong back on track,” Xi told Lam during Wednesday’s conference, referring to Hong Kong by its official Chinese Communist Party name, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
“On major issues such as national security, you have taken a firm stand and assumed responsibilities, demonstrating your love of and deep sense of responsibility to the motherland and Hong Kong,” Xi told the Hong Kong leader.
“The central authorities fully acknowledge your performance and the performance of the HKSAR government in fulfilling duties,” Xi added.