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2024

20/03/2024
The Security Bureau today strongly disapproved of and firmly rejected the untruthful and biased remarks made by UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron about the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance which was passed unanimously by the Legislative Council yesterday. Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung said Mr Cameron once again made untruthful and unreasonable remarks about the ordinance, that are sheer political smears and despicable political manoeuvres. During the public consultation of the Basic Law Article 23 legislation, 98.6% of the submissions of opinions showed support and gave positive comments, reflecting a strong consensus in society for the legislation. It is also the aspiration of the people. Furthermore, the relevant bills committee convened 25 meetings and used nearly 50 hours to scrutinise the ordinance - 30% longer than that of the lengthiest scrutiny by the bills committees last year - during which nearly 1,000 questions and comments were raised by the members, resulting in 91 amendments, with most of them originating from comments by lawmakers. Some clauses were even deliberated on for over an hour, reflecting that the ordinance was thoroughly discussed at LegCo and the scrutiny was completed in a conscientious and prudent manner. Mr Tang pointed out that it was not “rushed through the legislative process” as claimed groundlessly by Mr Cameron. “The definition of offences in the ordinance is clearer than those in the National Security Act 2023 of the UK. For example, the ordinance clearly stipulates the seven categories of 'state secrets'. “The relevant information will constitute a 'state secret' only if the condition that 'disclosure of the information without lawful authority would likely endanger national security' is met. “On the contrary, the 'protected information' in relevant UK laws does not concern any specific fields. As long as the improper disclosure of information will likely prejudice the national security or interests of the UK, such information may likely be regarded as 'state secrets'.” Mr Tang noted that disregarding the ambiguity in the laws of his own country, Mr Cameron made unreasonable criticisms against the ordinance, showing his hypocrisy and double standards. “His disregard for facts and gross interference in the matters of Hong Kong were seen very clearly by the general public. The people of Hong Kong will not be deceived.” The security chief stressed that the ordinance only targets an extremely small minority of people who endanger national security, with the aim to protect the lives, property, freedoms and rights of the people of Hong Kong. The ordinance also stipulates that the rights and freedoms which Hong Kong Special Administrative Region residents enjoy under the Basic Law, and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights as applied to the Hong Kong SAR shall be protected in accordance with the law. Following the enactment of the legislation, the rights and freedoms enjoyed by members of the public will be better protected. “As a matter of fact, after the ordinance was passed by LegCo unanimously, members of the public and various sectors of the community including the commercial sector and major chambers of commerce, the legal sector, real estate association, the youth sector, other professional sectors and political parties welcomed and voiced support for the legislation. “All those raising opposing comments were external forces, as the legislation will increase their cost of and difficulty in endangering our national security. “The ordinance is a piece of legislation to defend against external forces that endanger our national security, acting like a sturdier door and a more effective door lock to defend our home. Only invaders who want to intrude into our home to plunder and loot will object to Hong Kong’s legislation to safeguard the country. It is incumbent on us to tear off the mask of these external forces so that the public can see their true colours.” Mr Tang reiterated that the core essence of the Sino-British Joint Declaration is China's resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. It did not authorise the UK to interfere in Hong Kong's affairs after its return to the motherland. The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision over Hong Kong after its return to the motherland. He urged the UK to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs which are China's internal affairs.
20/03/2024
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today firmly opposed and strongly condemned the slanders and smears as well as grossly misleading and false remarks made continuously by the US and some Western countries, anti-China organisations, anti-China politicians, foreign media and wanted people absconded overseas, after the unanimous passage of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance by the Legislative Council on March 19. The Hong Kong SAR Government said not only are those remarks totally unfounded and fact-twisting, but also entirely disregard the constitutional duty and practical needs of the Hong Kong SAR to legislate, and the positive effects brought by the enactment of the legislation on economic development and protection of human rights. “It is the constitutional duty of the Hong Kong SAR to safeguard national security. In accordance with international law and international practice based on the Charter of the United Nations, safeguarding national security is an inherent right of all sovereign states. Many common law jurisdictions, including such Western countries as the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Singapore, have enacted multiple pieces of legislation to safeguard national security. “Turning a blind eye to the fact and making exaggerated remarks, the anti-China forces maliciously smeared the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, demonstrating typical political hegemony and hypocrisy with double standards.” The Hong Kong SAR Government emphasised that this legislation is indeed the aspiration of the people. After the unanimous passage of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance by LegCo, members of the public and various sectors of the community including the commercial sector and major chambers of commerce, the legal sector, real estate association, the youth sector, other professional sectors and political parties, voiced support for the Hong Kong SAR Government’s legislative work through different channels such as issuing public statements. All those raising opposing comments were external forces, as the legislation will increase their cost of and difficulty in endangering our national security. During the public consultation period, the Government received over 13,000 submissions of opinions, of which 98.6% showed support and gave positive comments, indicating that the legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law has strong popular support. “We must point out that the entire legislative process at the LegCo was conducted entirely in accordance with the due procedures, with diligent and prudent scrutiny by lawmakers. The Bills Committee, together with the subcommittee earlier set up by the House Committee to study matters relating to Basic Law Article 23 legislation, convened 25 meetings in total, and devoted nearly 50 hours to scrutinise every clause of the bill in detail, raising nearly 1,000 questions and comments, resulting in 91 amendments, most of which were originated from comments by lawmakers. “Some clauses were even deliberated for more than an hour, reflecting a thorough discussion at LegCo in which every member was meticulous and completed the scrutiny with high quality and efficiency.” The Hong Kong SAR Government pointed out that protecting human rights and respecting the principle of the rule of law are principles of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance and have been included in the provisions. The safeguards and respect to human rights could be manifested in several areas such as the legal provisions including definitions, criminal elements, applicable people and scopes are clear, targeting acts and activities endangering national security with clarity so that the public will not unwittingly violate the law. The ordinance has given due consideration to protecting the normal commercial activities and the need to engage in international exchanges of the financial, media and various types of organisations in Hong Kong. However, the US and Western countries, anti-China organisations, anti-China politicians, media, and wanted people having absconded overseas continued to smear, deliberately disregarded the facts and slandered the ordinance, fully exposing their hypocrisy and arrogance as well as their malicious intentions to harm Hong Kong. The Hong Kong SAR Government stressed that following the successful enactment of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, the shortcomings in the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong SAR to safeguard national security are addressed. “We must once again emphasise that the ordinance is a piece of legislation to defend against external forces that endanger our national security, acting like a sturdier door and a more effective door lock to defend our home. Only invaders who want to intrude into our home to plunder and loot will not want Hong Kong to legislate to safeguard the country.” The Hong Kong SAR Government strongly urges these Western countries, anti-China organisations, anti-China politicians, media and wanted persons absconding overseas, all with ulterior motives, to stop smearing and interfering in Hong Kong affairs which are internal affairs of China, adding that their despicable manoeuvre with politics is doomed to fail.
19/03/2024
Today marks a historic moment for Hong Kong. It is a historic moment that Hong Kong has been waiting 26 years, 8 months and 19 days for. It is a historic moment where the Sixth-term Government and the Seventh Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have finally accomplished a glorious mission together. It is a proud moment for all of the Hong Kong SAR in collectively making glorious history. Today, the constitutional responsibility and historic mission of legislating for Article 23 of the Basic Law have finally been fulfilled. The Safeguarding National Security Bill has been passed after the third reading, ensuring the effective protection of national security. This year marks the 10th anniversary of President Xi Jinping’s proposal of the holistic view of national security. On this very day, we have fulfilled our constitutional responsibility of enacting local legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law. We have accomplished this historic mission, living up to the trust placed in us by the central government and the country. I will sign the bill and promulgate the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance by publication in the gazette on the 23rd. In other words, the ordinance will officially take effect on March 23, 2024. The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance enables Hong Kong to effectively prevent, suppress and punish espionage activities, conspiracies and traps from foreign intelligence agencies, and infiltration and sabotage by hostile forces. We can effectively prevent “black-clad violence” and “colour revolution”. We can effectively prevent Hong Kong independence and violent destruction. We no longer need to worry about saboteurs’ “mutual destruction” threats in Hong Kong and their acts of damaging public facilities, throwing petrol bombs, setting fires, assaulting citizens with differing opinions, pushing Hong Kong into an abyss, and destroying years of our city’s development. From now on, the people of Hong Kong will no longer experience these harms and sorrows. The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance aligns with three principles, as stipulated in its provisions. These three principles are:     (1) the highest principle of the policy of “one country, two systems” is to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests;(2) human rights are to be respected and protected, and the rights and freedoms, including the freedoms of speech, of the press and of publication, the freedoms of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration, enjoyed under the Basic Law and the provisions of two international covenants as applied to the Hong Kong SAR, namely the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, are to be protected in accordance with the law; and(3) for acts and activities endangering national security, there must be adherence to active prevention in accordance with the principle of the rule of law, and suppression and punishment in accordance with the law.     The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance demonstrates three key objectives:     (1) to resolutely, fully and faithfully implement the policy of “one country, two systems” under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy;(2) to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong SAR to safeguard national security; and(3) to prevent, suppress and punish acts and activities endangering national security in accordance with the law, to protect the lawful rights and interests of the residents of the Hong Kong SAR and other people in the Hong Kong SAR, to ensure the property and investment in the Hong Kong SAR are protected by the law, to maintain prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong SAR.     The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance has four characteristics:     (1) the ordinance achieves convergence, compatibility and complementarity with the Hong Kong National Security Law and other Hong Kong laws concerning national security;(2) the ordinance made reference to the experience of other common law jurisdictions, but is implemented in the light of the actual situation in Hong Kong;(3) the provisions of the ordinance were written in line with common law conventions, and are detailed, clear and easy to understand; and(4) the ordinance improved laws which were obsolete and inadequate.     I unveiled and embarked on the mission of legislating for Article 23 of the Basic Law at the Chief Executive’s Interactive Exchange Question & Answer Session in LegCo on January 25. My consultation with LegCo was immediately followed by the public consultation from January 30 to February 28.     The Government has received over 13,000 submissions of opinions, of which 98.6% showed support and gave positive comments, indicating that the legislation has strong popular support.     I would like to express my gratitude to the President and all Honourable Members of LegCo. From convening a council meeting for the first and second readings of the Safeguarding National Security Bill, and the unremitting scrutiny by the Bills Committee and the unwavering support of the House Committee, to convening a full council meeting today for the resumption of the second reading debate, third reading and passage, their focus has always been on the genuine and urgent need of the legislation. They have upheld the goal of completing the legislative work as soon as possible, and fulfilled the Hong Kong SAR’s constitutional duty that has been long awaited in the past 26 years, 8 months and 19 days.     Here, I would like to extend my gratitude firstly to President Andrew Leung for leading LegCo to express support for the necessity and urgency of enacting the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, for convening special meetings to expedite the completion of the legislative work as soon as possible to safeguard national security as well as for ensuring the scrutiny proceeded in an orderly manner according to established procedures. President Leung has disclosed that every morning when checking his mobile phone, he would receive text messages from a number of members, all about Article 23. He cared for Article 23, day and night, and he felt that all members attached as much importance to the legislative work for Article 23 as he did. The unity and sharing the same goal with all members had given him a boost in taking things forward.     I also sincerely thank all members of the Bills Committee, including Chairman Martin Liao, Deputy Chairman Chan Hak-kan and the 13 committee members. They engaged in intensive scrutiny of the bill, nearly ceaselessly from 9am to 7pm on seven consecutive days. They often expended a significant amount of time deliberating individual clauses. On one occasion, more than 1 hour and 20 minutes was spent in the examination of a single clause, while instances where more than 30 minutes was spent on a single clause were aplenty. The Bills Committee, together with the subcommittee earlier set up by the House Committee to study matters relating to Basic Law Article 23 legislation, convened 25 meetings in total, and devoted nearly 50 hours to scrutinise every clause of the bill in detail, raising over 1,000 questions and comments and resulting in 91 amendments. Every member has been conscientious and completed the scrutiny process with high quality and high efficiency. I know that in order to ensure the effective scrutiny of the bill, Chairman Liao did a lot of preparatory work in advance, especially in preparing for possible situations where the chairman had to make rulings. But in the end, that became unnecessary. As every committee member did their preparatory work thoroughly, the process of scrutiny was very smooth and there was no need for him to make any ruling. He told others that he felt encouraged by members’ unity and determination in accomplishing this historic mission.     I also take the opportunity to thank Chairman Starry Lee and all members of the House Committee for agreeing to the Government’s proposal to expedite the introduction of the bill to the council for consideration. With her other capacity as a member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Chairman Lee had to travel twice in two days between Hong Kong and Beijing during the “two sessions”. She had indicated that the experience was unforgettable but worthwhile.     The entire legislative process at LegCo was conducted in accordance with procedures throughout, and lawmakers scrutinised the bill diligently and meticulously. Speeches by members covered diverse perspectives and a wide range of topics. Some focused on details, others on principles, and some discussed ideologies. The content was comprehensive and in-depth. The scrutiny process, proceeded under the goal of completing the legislative work as soon as possible, was of high quality and high efficiency. Today, we have passed the Safeguarding National Security Bill. It demonstrates the greatest value of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, enabling the Hong Kong SAR to gloriously accomplish the sacred mission of legislating for Article 23 of the Basic Law.     Furthermore, I would like to express my gratitude to the Government for staying united in contributing to the Basic Law Article 23 legislation. In particular, I want to pay tribute to my colleagues in the Security Bureau and the Department of Justice. I thank Secretary for Justice Paul Lam, Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung, and relevant colleagues in the Security Bureau and the Department of Justice, who have worked tirelessly from conducting consultation, drafting legislative proposals, and explaining and rebutting criticisms, to assisting LegCo in scrutinsing the bill. I recall a number of occasions when I made phone calls to the offices of the Security Bureau and the Department of Justice. I only realised, after hanging up the phone and checking the clock on my desk, that it was already two or three in the morning. I am proud and grateful for their dedication, enthusiasm and professional competence. They are heroes in my heart and guardians of the Hong Kong SAR.     Finally, I would like to thank everyone who loves the country and Hong Kong for supporting and advocating for the Basic Law Article 23 legislation. With our concerted efforts, we have put an end to a predicament that has plagued Hong Kong for 26 years, 8 months and 19 days, and made glorious history for the Hong Kong SAR. With the passage of the Safeguarding National Security Bill, we will be able to effectively safeguard national security, allowing Hong Kong to move forward without worry or burden, and focus on developing the economy and improving people’s livelihoods. Together, we will make Hong Kong a more prosperous and better home for everyone.     History bears witness to this important moment, witnessing our joy, inspiration and pride, and witnessing our collective contribution to the glorious history of the Hong Kong SAR. Thank you, Mr President. Thank you, Honourable Members. This is the English translation of the address by Chief Executive John Lee at the LegCo meeting on the council's passage of the Safeguarding National Security Bill on March 19.
19/03/2024
The disciplinary forces welcomed the passage of the Safeguarding National Security Bill on its third reading by the Legislative Council today, adding that they will fully co-operate in implementing the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. The Police Force pointed out that as a pillar for safeguarding national security, it will render full support to the implementation of the national security law after it is enacted, ensuring that laws are observed and strictly enforced, so as to bring offenders to account and that national security is free from threats. While Customs pledged to uphold its commitment and stand united with other disciplinary forces to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and ensure the steadfast and successful implementation of "one country, two systems". Upholding the departmental values of "patriotism and perservance", the Immigration Department said it will exert every effort to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests, by strictly adhering to all applicable laws and current immigration policies in all immigration matters. As the last element in the criminal justice system, the Correctional Services Department noted that it will ensure prison stability and prevent anyone in prison from organising or nurturing power to oppose the central authorities and stir up disorder in society. Meanwhile, the Fire Services Department vowed to remain steadfast in its duties, stand united to promote the safety and development of Hong Kong and the country, and strive to protect the lives and property of the public, making Hong Kong a safe place to live and work. For its part, the Government Flying Service said it spares no effort to work with the Security Bureau under its professional ambit in safeguarding national security and maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability.
18/03/2024
The Immigration Department announced today the introduction of two additional functions to its 1868 system, which allows citizens in distress outside of Hong Kong to seek help from the department’s Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit. The new functions are an 1868 WeChat assistance hotline in the department’s WeChat official account, and an 1868 chatbot in the departmental mobile app. The department underlined that the newly added hotline and chatbot are intended to provide assistance to Hong Kong residents in need outside the city. For other immigration enquiries, people should call 2824 6111 or write to [email protected].
17/03/2024
It is a long-standing practice in the common law system for the legislature to empower the executive authorities to make subsidiary legislation for the effective implementation of the requirements of the primary legislation, Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung said. He made the statement in response to media concerns over the empowerment of the Chief Executive-in-Council to make subsidiary legislation on safeguarding national security in the amendments to the Safeguarding National Security Bill. While further explaining the issue, Mr Tang emphasised that the power to make subsidiary legislation is under effective checks and balances, and members of the public do not need to be concerned. The security chief pointed out that it is a common practice in the common law system to leave detailed and technical matters of the primary legislation to be set out in subsidiary legislation.  Such matters involve implementation details, administrative matters, matters which require the executive authorities’ continuous review and improvements or which need timely enactment or amendments. Other jurisdictions, such as the UK and the US, also have a similar practice, Mr Tang added. It is also very common in Hong Kong legislation for the Legislative Council to delegate power to the executive authorities to make subsidiary legislation for the effective implementation of the primary legislation. Since January 1, 2024, more than 20 pieces of subsidiary legislation have been made. One such example is the Road Traffic (Autonomous Vehicles) Regulation under the Road Traffic Ordinance.   Mr Tang said comprehensive measures to safeguard national security require the empowerment of the executive authorities to formulate implementation details and administrative matters. Moreover, national security risks can emerge all of a sudden and cannot be predicted at the moment. By empowering the Chief Executive-in-Council to make subsidiary legislation to set out the implementation details, as required by the National Security Law and its interpretation, as well as the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, the mechanism to safeguard national security can be implemented more effectively. The national security risks can be prevented and addressed timely. Mr Tang also noted that subsidiary legislation has to be made in accordance with the requirements of the primary legislation and its content must not exceed the scope of the matters regulated under the primary legislation. The Interpretation & General Clauses Ordinance clearly stipulates that no subsidiary legislation shall be inconsistent with the provisions of any ordinance.  Additionally, Mr Tang pointed out that subsidiary legislation will be laid on the table of the Legislative Council for negative vetting in accordance with the Interpretation & General Clauses Ordinance. “The Legislative Council can, by resolution, make amendment to or even repeal the subsidiary legislation. Therefore, the power to make subsidiary legislation is under effective checks and balances.”
17/03/2024
Eighty citizens who assisted Police in fighting crime and upholding the rule of law were commended at the Good Citizen Award (GCA) Presentation Ceremony 2023 today. Separately, seven organisations were presented with the Good Organisation Award to recognise their efforts in supporting the force's crime prevention work. Police said that the GCA awardees helped them with preventing or detecting crime, arresting criminals and saving lives. This year, the Good Citizen of the Year Award was presented to six GCA awardees for the first time. All of them were boatmen who volunteered to sail out and rescue 37 people from danger during a maritime accident. They were commended for their bravery and resourcefulness. More than 4,600 citizens have been commended since the launch of the GCA scheme in 1973. Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner of Police Siu Chak-yee said the GCA Scheme, which was established 51 years ago, not only highlights the importance of police-community co-operation but also the initial aspiration of the force to promote community engagement and strengthen connections with various sectors of the community. Among the awardees, Mr Siu highlighted 11 security guards and taxi drivers, who were highly commendable for utilising their work strengths to take the initiative and go the extra mile to help Police fight crime. He urged members of the public to follow their lead and collectively contribute to a stronger safety network in society.
14/03/2024
To mark National Security Education Day, on April 15, the disciplined services and auxiliary services will hold open days in their training schools, headquarters or divisional premises on April 13 and 14. The Police College, the Immigration Service Institute of Training & Development, the Correctional Services Academy and the Kai Tak division of the Government Flying Service will be opened to the public on April 13. The Customs College, the Fire & Ambulance Services Academy, the Civil Aid Service Headquarters and the Auxiliary Medical Service Headquarters will hold open days the following day. Activities on the open days will include flag raising ceremonies, Chinese-style foot drills, tactics and rescue drills, displays of firearms and equipment, working dog demonstrations, virtual reality experiences and game booths. The activities will enable the public to learn more about the disciplined services’ work in preventing and defending against national security risks, while raising awareness of national security and the need to abide by the law. Click here for more information on the open days.
12/03/2024
Hong Kong Customs today began a three-day Regional High-Level Conference on IP Protection, which is expected to gather at least 200 representatives from law enforcement agencies, the World Customs Organization, Interpol, Europol and the business sector. This marks the first time for Hong Kong Customs to host a large-scale regional conference on intellectual property (IP) protection. Centered on enforcement, engagement and education, the event features thematic presentations and discussions on IP to enable participants to examine enforcement effectiveness and strategies from diverse perspectives as well as foster co-operation and information exchanges between law enforcement agencies and industry stakeholders. Financial Secretary Paul Chan, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Algernon Yau and Commissioner of Customs & Excise Louise Ho officiated at a ceremony today to kick-off the conference. In his speech, Mr Chan said that the conference provided an ideal platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of IP protection and development. He also commended Hong Kong Customs for its stringent enforcement of IP laws, continuous engagement with stakeholders, dedication in public education, as well as forging close partnership with regional law enforcement agencies. He also shared the advantages and new initiatives for Hong Kong to develop into a regional IP trading centre, including the introduction of the “patent box” tax incentive, the establishment of a World Intellectual Property Organization Technology & Innovation Support Centre, and the introduction of regulatory arrangements covering local patent-agent services. Also speaking at the conference, Mr Yau expressed hope that it would serve not only as a platform to address IP enforcement issues but also as an opportunity for economies in the Asia-Pacific Region to forge stronger alliances, share best practices and develop innovative solutions for the challenges ahead. Ms Ho also took the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with the commissioners of Indian Customs and the Philippines Customs, and met the Cambodian General Department of Customs & Excise Deputy Director General to enhance co-operation.
08/03/2024
Financial Secretary Paul Chan today reviewed the Fire Services passing-out parade for 10 station officers, 99 firemen and 33 ambulancemen at the Fire & Ambulance Services Academy.Speaking at the parade, in addition to commending members of the Fire Services Department for their dedicated efforts in protecting Hong Kong and saving people's lives and property, Mr Chan praised their bravery during the rescue mission in Türkiye's quake-stricken areas last year. While talking about the department’s introduction of advanced equipment and application of innovative technology to enhance operational efficiency, Mr Chan gave an example of its use of drones and technologies such as artificial intelligence analysis to locate a missing student in the hills in October last year. He also noted that the department received an award from the World Innovation, Technology & Services Alliance last year for its commitment to exploring and applying innovative technology in enhancing the effectiveness of mountain search and rescue operations.Additionally, Mr Chan highlighted that the department frequently conducts exchanges and mutual visits with its fire and rescue counterparts on the Mainland and overseas, and a regular mechanism for exchanges and observation was created in particular with cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Apart from conducting joint exercises, mutual visits, seminars and other activities from time to time, the department also shares experiences and information with its Mainland counterparts through the Greater Bay Area Fire & Rescue Knowledge Management Platform. Furthermore, Mr Chan pointed out that the department has strived to enhance members' understanding of national security, and established a steering committee to co-ordinate activities on national affairs and national security that calls for the participation of all members. He noted that the graduates attended a national studies course on the Mainland during the training period, and encouraged them to deepen their understanding of the country's development and current situation, as well as its history and culture, in order to become the backbone for members who love both the country and Hong Kong. The graduates could then work together with colleagues from various disciplinary forces and play a crucial role in safeguarding national security, Mr Chan added.

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