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The Hong Kong Observatory will issue the Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 8 between 2am and 5am tomorrow and classes of all schools will be suspended on the same day. Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki made the announcement at a press conference this afternoon after chairing an inter-departmental meeting to discuss the contingency plans in response to the approach of Super Typhoon Saola. Additional police officers, firefighters, rescue personnel and hospital staff will be deployed as the Government stands ready to handle any emergencies that may arise due to the massive storm. Apart from emphasising that all relevant departments have to remain on high alert, make full assessments and prepare contingency plans, Mr Chan stressed that they must also prepare early in terms of manpower and equipment. The 29 temporary shelters operated by the district offices opened their doors starting at 8pm tonight for people in need. The Chief Secretary appealed to citizens to take precautions to prevent wind damage, stay home during the inclement weather and pay attention to government updates during typhoon-related news.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung today concluded his visit programme in Singapore where apart from calling on the Minister for Manpower and the Minister for Home Affairs, he toured a smart prison in the Lion City. In the morning, Mr Tang called on Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng and exchanged views on initiatives regarding attracting talent and related visa facilitation matters concerning the two places. Mr Tang then met Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam and officers at the Internal Security Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs to share opinions and ideas about the work of police, correctional services and fire services. In the afternoon, Mr Tang visited the headquarters of the Singapore Prison Service and was briefed on enhancing prison management and rehabilitation services such as assisting persons in custody to acquire further studies and receive counselling services through the use of technology. He then visited Institution S1A of the Changi Prison Complex and Selarang Park Community Supervision Centre to learn about technology applications at local prisons. Mr Tang returned to Hong Kong in the evening.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today expressed strong condemnation over the vandalism committed on the premises of the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office (ETO) in London. In a statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out that on August 29, London time, offenders, under the cover of darkness, sprayed indecent and offensive language on the entrance of the London ETO, and defiled the Hong Kong SAR regional emblem. Apart from pointing out that the London ETO has notified local police accordingly, it stressed that the vandals must face legal consequences as soon as possible. It also emphasised that such vandalism is an outright challenge to the Hong Kong SAR Government and reflected the nefarious intentions of destabilising foreign forces to cause chaos and disruption in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong SAR Government made it clear that it must strongly condemn such acts and will pursue legal liability of the individuals involved. As such, it called on the British police to handle the matter seriously, and apprehend the culprits with proactive and appropriate actions. British police are urged to act in accordance with its obligation to safeguard the London ETO’s property and its staff’s personal safety, thereby ensuring that the office can operate without illegal or undue interference. The Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development has contacted the British Consul-General in Hong Kong to express his deep concern about the incident, and requested the British police to take action to protect the legal rights and interests of the London ETO. The Consul-General undertook to reflect the matter to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and London police, and follow up as appropriate, the statement added.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung today called on officials in charge of security matters and toured the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation as he started his visit programme in Singapore. As part of his agenda in the morning, Mr Tang visited the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation to learn more about its innovative and advanced solutions in combatting cybercrimes. Apart from calling on Senior Minister of Singapore Teo Chee Hean, Mr Tang visited the National Security Coordination Secretariat under the Prime Minister’s Office where he and the office’s Permanent Secretary (National Security & Intelligence Coordination) Leo Yip shared their experiences on the work of upholding national security. In the afternoon, Mr Tang met Commissioner of the Singapore Police Force Hoong Wee Teck to exchange views on the challenges facing their respective police forces as well as their fruitful co-operation over the years. During his meeting with Commissioner of Cybersecurity and Chief Executive of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore David Koh, Mr Tang received a briefing on the agency’s work in safeguarding cybersecurity for the protection of critical information infrastructure, and exchanged views with Mr Koh. Additionally, the security chief paid a courtesy call on the Chargé d'Affaires ad interim of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore Zhu Jing to brief him on the latest developments in Hong Kong. In the evening, Mr Tang met Hong Kong people who work and do business in Singapore as well as youth interns there to learn about their development and needs. He encouraged them to tell the good stories of Hong Kong together with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.
Police’s National Security Department today arrested two men over suspected conspiracy to collude with the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund to receive donations from various organisations abroad to support people who have fled overseas or organisations which called for sanctions against Hong Kong. The two men, aged 33 and 59, were arrested in Tai Po for suspected conspiracy to collude with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security, contravening Article 29 of the National Security Law, and of inciting others to riot. Having obtained court warrants, Police conducted searches at the residences of the two arrested people and another suspect. Some related computers, electronic communication devices and exhibits fit for unlawful purpose were seized. The operation is ongoing and further arrests have not been ruled out.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today removed its amber outbound travel alert for Bahrain and adjusted its outbound travel alert for the south-eastern provinces of Türkiye from red to amber. The provinces of Türkiye included in the change are Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Siirt, Tunceli and Van. The Hong Kong SAR Government stressed that Hong Kong residents who plan to visit these provinces or are already there should continue to monitor the situation, exercise caution, attend to personal safety, and avoid protests or places with large gatherings of people. The red outbound travel alert for other south-eastern provinces of Türkiye, namely Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Mardin, Sanliurfa and Sirnak, has been maintained. Hong Kong residents are advised to avoid non-essential travel there. The Security Bureau will closely monitor the situation and issue updates through the media, as well as via its mobile app and webpage. Those who need assistance may call the Immigration Department at (852) 1868 or the Chinese Embassy in Türkiye on (90) 5388215530.
Enhancements to the Legal Advice Scheme for Unrepresented Litigants on Civil Procedure will take effect starting September 4, the Administration Wing announced today. To enable more people in need to receive services, the scheme will lift the existing income eligibility limit of not exceeding a monthly income of $50,000 or an annual income of $600,000 from September 4. Unrepresented litigants who have not engaged lawyers nor been granted legal aid can apply for the scheme to seek free legal advice, without the need to provide information on their income, on civil procedural matters of the proceedings, including commencement of proceedings, in the Lands Tribunal, Family Court, District Court or the courts above to which they are parties. Additionally, the scheme will expand, also on September 4, the scope of its online application system from re-applicants who have attended an advice session on the case in question to all applicants. Since its launch in 2013, the scheme has conducted over 24 000 advice sessions for about 9,000 eligible litigants. Under the enhanced scheme, applicants will remain responsible at all times for the conduct of their own proceedings.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung began his visit programme in Vietnam today by calling on the Ministry of Public Security and witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on co-operation concerning immigration matters between Hong Kong and Vietnam. In the morning, Mr Tang met Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Public Security Luong Tam Quang and introduced to him Hong Kong's latest situation. Both sides exchanged views on the collaboration of immigration matters and the safeguarding of public safety. They then witnessed the signing of the MOU by Director of Immigration Au Ka-wang and Vietnam’s Director General of Immigration Department Pham Dang Khoa on enhancing co-operation in respect of immigration matters linking the two places. The pact will enhance exchanges of experience and information in relation to immigration matters between both places in various areas, including detecting and seizing fake travel documents, as well as preventing and combatting illegal entry and exit. The two places will also strengthen co-operation on verification and repatriation of illegal migrants to enhance efficiency. Noting that the exchanges between Hong Kong and Vietnam in terms of trade and people-to-people connection have been increasing over the years, Mr Tang said the signing of the MOU signifies that their close relations have scaled new heights. He welcomed more Vietnamese visitors to travel to Hong Kong and do business in the city. He also expressed his hope that more young talent in Vietnam will pursue their studies in Hong Kong and stay to develop their careers after graduation. In the afternoon, Mr Tang had a meeting with the heads of the Department of External Security, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Foreign Relations under Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, and exchanged views with them on matters including anti-terrorism and the safeguarding of national security. In the evening, Mr Tang visited a Hong Kong enterprise's investment in Vietnam to learn about its operation and the local business environment. Apart from meeting some Hong Kong people in Vietnam to understand more about the socio-economic situation there, he also briefed the group about the latest developments in Hong Kong. Mr Tang will depart for Singapore tomorrow.
Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung will depart tomorrow for Vietnam and Singapore. He will return to Hong Kong on the evening of August 31. In Hanoi, Mr Tang will pay a visit to Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) during which Hong Kong and Vietnam’s immigration departments will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on enhanced co-operation and share experiences in respect of immigration matters. Mr Tang will also meet representatives of Vietnam’s Department of External Security, its Department of Homeland Security and its Department of Foreign Relations under the MPS. While in Singapore, the security chief will call on the city-state’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), its Ministry of Manpower and various agencies under the MHA, including the Singapore Police Force, the Internal Security Department, and the Prison Service. In addition, he will visit the National Security Coordination Secretariat and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, as well as Interpol in Singapore. He will also meet Hong Kong communities in both Hanoi and Singapore. During Mr Tang’s absence, Under Secretary for Security Michael Cheuk will be Acting Secretary.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today said it strongly opposes and condemns the US Department of State for attempting to demonise actions taken in accordance with the law by the Hong Kong Police Force’s National Security Department. It stressed that endangering national security is a very serious offence, and that no country will watch with folded arms when acts that endanger national security are committed. In a statement, a Hong Kong SAR Government spokesperson said Hong Kong law enforcement agencies have been taking action based on evidence and strictly in accordance with the law, and that these actions have nothing to do with the political views, backgrounds or occupations of the people and entities concerned It added that attempts to exonerate people who have absconded from Hong Kong could not change the fact that these individuals are alleged to have committed offences under the National Security Law (NSL) that seriously endanger national security. The Hong Kong SAR Government said the listing as wanted persons individuals who are alleged to have committed offences under the NSL but who have absconded overseas, as well as further investigations and law enforcement actions against them, are entirely reasonable, rational, legal and necessary. The statement also noted that Hong Kong residents enjoy rights and freedoms under the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and other relevant laws. It said the NSL clearly stipulates that human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the city, adding that any law enforcement actions to safeguard national security will not affect the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents in accordance with the law. The statement urged the US to discern fact from fallacy, stop its wanton slandering and smearing of the NSL, and refrain immediately from interfering with the internal affairs of the People's Republic of China and in Hong Kong matters. It added that the Hong Kong SAR Government will continue to implement the NSL fearlessly, resolutely, fully and faithfully, thereby preventing, suppressing and imposing punishment for acts and activities that endanger national security, so as to allow Hong Kong to advance steadily from stability to prosperity.