Intangible heritage scheme opens

CE vows HK will safeguard security

Chief Executive John Lee said in his 2023 Policy Address today that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will continue to uphold the principle of “one country, two systems” and that it will legislate to safeguard national security in Hong Kong.


In accordance with Article 23 of the Basic Law Hong Kong will move to enact laws of its own to prohibit acts and activities that endanger national security. Noting that Article 7 of the National Security Law stipulates that the Hong Kong SAR Government shall complete, as early as possible, legislation for safeguarding national security, Mr Lee explained that effective legislative options will be drawn up and that the legislative exercise will be completed in 2024.


Furthermore, Mr Lee said the Hong Kong SAR Government will introduce a bill, also in 2024, to address the increasing risks of cyber-attacks and enhance the cybersecurity of Hong Kong’s critical infrastructure, including its energy, telecommunications and transportation infrastructure and its financial institutions.


In addition, he said, the Hong Kong SAR Government will strengthen national security education by setting up an exhibition gallery, organising themed exhibitions and activities, and providing teaching materials and training for district-based tutors, to raise public awareness of the importance of safeguarding national security. National Security Education Day will continue to be held on 15 April each year.


The Chief Executive added that a new bill has been introduced to amend the Regional Flag & Regional Emblem Ordinance, and explained that when the bill is enacted a publicity campaign will be organised to enhance public awareness of the importance of respecting the regional flag and emblem and ensuring their proper usage.


Meanwhile, Mr Lee said the Hong Kong SAR Government will continue to enhance training for all civil servants to nurture their patriotism and their awareness of the importance of safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, national security and development interests.


He added that patriotic education measures will be rolled out in Hong Kong’s education system to enhance appreciation of traditional Chinese culture amongst Hongkongers and lay a good foundation for national unity and solidarity, explaining that the Constitution & Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee, led by the Chief Secretary for Administration, will extend its scope to cover patriotic education. The committee will establish a Working Group on Patriotic Education to co‑ordinate the work of government departments and non‑governmental organisations in taking national education forward.


In addition, Mr Lee stated that the Leisure & Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will establish a Chinese Culture Promotion Office to promote Chinese culture and history, and that a Chinese Culture Festival will be organised starting from next year.


A new museum will also be established to showcase the country’s developments and achievements, prior to which the LCSD will set up galleries in existing museums to display relevant content and deepen public understanding of the country and national affairs.


Mr Lee added that the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence will be converted into the Hong Kong Museum of the War of Resistance and Coastal Defence in 2024, and that the Hong Kong SAR Government will collaborate with the Shenzhen Municipal Cultural Relics Bureau to organise exhibitions focusing on the joint efforts by Hong Kong and Shenzhen during the War of Resistance.


Recalling that in July, in his response to a letter from students at Pui Kiu Middle School, President Xi Jinping encouraged them to strengthen their sense of belonging to the nation, and to contribute to national rejuvenation, Mr Lee said a number of measures will be taken forward in the current school year to cultivate the desired spirit highlighted by President Xi.


These measures include strengthening training for teachers through increased Mainland study tours, as well as in-school enhancement programmes focused on national security education and the country’s development and history. The Education Bureau (EDB) will also conduct regular focus inspections on the implementation of national education, with plans to inspect at least 50 schools every year. 


In addition, the EDB will publish a Humanities Curriculum Framework for primary schools, to be implemented starting from the 2025-26 school year. It will also strengthen training for Constitution & Basic Law Student Ambassadors, organise more Chinese cultural immersion activities, and enhance the content of the Values Education Curriculum Framework so as to advance students’ learning about Chinese culture, history and geography, as well as national security issues.


Mr Lee added that the EDB will launch “Love Our Home, Treasure Our Country 2.0”, a series of inter‑school national education activities to enrich students’ learning and promote interaction among schools.