HK leaders must be ready to fight: Xia Baolong

Those involved in governing Hong Kong must have the courage to fight anyone who tries to harm national sovereignty and safety and can’t shy away from confrontations, a senior Beijing official in charge of Hong Kong affairs said on Friday.

Xia Baolong, the head of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), said the national security law has already “chopped the hands off” internal and external forces who threaten security.

Xia made the remarks in a speech for a closed door forum on the legislation, according to the HKMAO.

A transcript shows he praised Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her team for swiftly setting up organisations to safeguard national security, as well as appointing judges to handle related court cases.

The official also expressed the hope that “everyone in Hong Kong will shoulder their responsibility”, and “turn their passion for the country and Hong Kong, and their aspiration for a better life, into initiatives for abiding, executing and safeguarding the national security law”.

Xia also stressed that Hong Kong must ensure that all those in power are capable and staunch patriots.

“People who oppose China and disrupt Hong Kong must be excluded from the administration, so that under One Country, Two Systems, people can live and work freely, regardless of their political views or beliefs, and are able to exercise their rights according to the law,” he was quoted as saying.

The mainland official accused “some politicians” of foreign countries, including the United States, of imposing “meaningless sanctions” against China, saying this would only provoke Chinese anger and hatred towards them, and sound a death knell for “their agents in Hong Kong”.

“The river of history has proven countless times that victory always belongs to the Chinese people who never give up,” Xia reportedly said.