Tam Yiu-chung (L), one of the organizers of the United Front Supporting National Security Legislation, hands the petition in support of the national security legislation for Hong Kong to Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in south China's Hong Kong, June 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
Moving into an office in Admiralty, a sought-after location right at the center of Hong Kong's most thriving business district, should have meant a career boost for Lucy Wu. Instead, it has made her a reluctant witness of violence and vandalism.
Exactly one year ago on June 12, the businesswoman was discussing the design of their newly-rented office in a building when she saw a growing number of black-clad protesters surrounding the Legislative Council (LegCo) building across the street.
As the situation evolved, rioters began to charge police cordon lines, set fires and use violent measures to repeatedly storm the LegCo complex.
"That was the first time I had ever seen such crazy vandalism with my own eyes," she said, adding that violence and vandalism continued to escalate in Hong Kong since then, even making daily commuting a difficult task and almost putting a halt to her company's operation.
Wu said she noticed that Hong Kong's social order is "recovering somewhat" since the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, adopted a decision last month to institute Hong Kong national security laws. "I feel more and more Hong Kong residents are regaining confidence in Hong Kong's future."
Organizers of the United Front Supporting National Security Legislation and guests attend a press conference in south China's Hong Kong, June 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)
Nearly 2.93 million Hong Kong residents have signed a petition in support of the national security legislation for Hong Kong during an eight-day campaign starting from May 24.
The large number of people signing the petition fully demonstrates that the national security legislation is an essential move that meets the aspirations of Hong Kong residents, Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) said while receiving the petition from organizers.
Luo said the legislation will prevent, stop and punish acts and activities endangering national security, maintain Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability and better protect the legitimate rights and interests of Hong Kong residents.
Leung Fong-yuen, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Tourism Industry Employees General Union, is among those who felt the pains caused by the disturbances most acutely.
"In the worst hit sectors such as tourism, retail, catering and hotels, many people are struggling with scarcely any hope for business in the coming year," she said. "That's why my colleagues and I fully support the national security legislation for Hong Kong."
Leung was one of the around 25,000 people who volunteered to collect public signatures for the petition at the more than 5,400 street stands set up across Hong Kong during the campaign.
She recalled one day when she was appealing to passers-by, saying loudly that the violent incidents have resulted in a loss of 120 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 15.5 billion U.S. dollars) to Hong Kong's services sectors. Hearing her words, many people came up to sign in support of the national security legislation.
"It's because it really hit a nerve for many people," she said.