Finance

Beijing’s chief official in Hong Kong warns foreign powers not to interfere

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© Reuters. The introduction of National Security Law posters will be placed in a secondary school ahead of Hong Kong’s National Security Education Day

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Beijing’s chief representative in Hong Kong said Thursday that any foreign powers attempting to use the global financial center as farmers will face countermeasures amid escalating tensions between the city and western governments.

Luo Huining, director of the Hong Kong China Liaison Office, spoke at the National Safety Education Day organized by the authorities to promote the sweeping laws passed in China last year.

“We will teach a lesson to all foreign forces who want to use Hong Kong as farmers,” said Luo.

The new law has been criticized by the West for restricting rights and freedoms in the former British colony, which was promised a high degree of autonomy after its return to Chinese rule in 1997. Its supporters say it restored order after mass protests against the government and against China in 2019.

China, the United States, Britain and the European Union imposed sanctions last year as the security law and measures to reduce democratic representation in the city’s institutions increased tensions.

Earlier this week, a letter signed by more than 100 British politicians called on Boris Johnson’s administration to expand a list of Chinese officials accused of “serious human rights violations”.

National Security Education Day will be marked with school activities, games and shows, and a parade of police and other services performing the Chinese military’s “goose step” march.

Consistent with Beijing’s heightened assertiveness, the Chinese routine of troops holding their legs rigidly straight when lifting from the ground and swinging their arms at a 90-degree angle across their chests will replace the British foot drills in a parade of police and others Forces.

In other schools and cultural centers, Hong Kong residents have been asked to erect “mosaic walls” for national security to convey the idea that people should work together to protect their homeland, according to a government website.

Stickers and bookmarks that read “Maintain National Security, Protect Our Home” have been delivered to schools and kindergartens.

In February, Hong Kong unveiled National Security Education Guidelines, teaching students ages six and older about collusion with foreign forces, terrorism, secession and subversion – the four main crimes of the new law.

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Steven Gregory