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HK's Lee backs new mindsets

Chief executive responds to National Security Education Day speech

By WU KUNLING and XI TIANQI in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-17 09:46

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu vowed on Tuesday to lead the city to surmount difficulties and embrace new chances to drive high-quality development, while urging Hong Kong residents to adopt flexible mindsets in the face of new challenges.

Lee was responding to calls made by Xia Baolong — the nation's top official overseeing Hong Kong and Macao affairs — in a video speech at the opening ceremony of National Security Education Day celebrations in Hong Kong on Monday.

Xia, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, called on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to firmly uphold the bottom line of national security, stay united, and adopt new mindsets to boost the economy and tackle deep-seated issues.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a regular meeting of the Executive Council on Tuesday, Lee said Xia's words served as encouragement for the whole of Hong Kong.

He said all sectors of society should play their part in building a better homeland and contributing to the construction of Hong Kong.

The industrial and commercial sectors need to adapt to the changes in the economic development process and bravely explore new avenues for growth, Lee said.

As for the city's youth, he said they are called upon to acquire new knowledge, broaden their horizons and strive to realize their personal values.

With Hong Kong experiencing a new era of economic development, Lee said it has always found new opportunities during periods of transformation in the past.

He said he believes that Hong Kong people can recognize changes and actively face such transformations, give play to the traditional Lion Rock spirit and forge ahead to write a new chapter of development.

Hong Kong's New People's Party welcomed Xia's call on Monday, saying the National Security Law for Hong Kong and the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance provide a high level of security for the special administrative region, enabling it to pursue economic and social development without worries.

It said the city should double down on efforts to develop "new quality productive forces", create a favorable business environment and maximize the advantages of "one country, two systems".

The Chinese Manufacturers Association of Hong Kong, representing the industrial sector, emphasized the importance of capitalizing on the nation's support.

The association urged the city to accelerate the development of "new quality productive forces" by focusing on innovation and technology, industrial supply chains, professional services and green finance. It expressed its commitment to helping industrial enterprises seize new opportunities.

The association said it will continue to support schools it funds in promoting national security education, hoping to raise students' awareness of national security.

The Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, the city's largest teachers' union, said it is imperative that national security education is steadfastly strengthened. The federation pledged to improve the curriculum of national security lessons, and organize diverse events and training for students and teachers.

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