HK says terrorism threat is 'moderate'

2024-04-18 09:57:15China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Hong Kong will maintain its terrorism threat level at "moderate" after the arrest of 291 people for endangering national security in the past three years, the city's Security Bureau said on Wednesday.

Among those arrested — 218 males and 73 females — over 170 people and five companies had been charged and 112 had either been convicted by a court or were awaiting sentencing as of March 8, the bureau revealed in a written reply to a lawmaker.

While no intelligence suggests Hong Kong will be targeted, the city's terrorism threat level remains "moderate" as latent threats persist, the bureau said in another written reply the same day.

The three official reporting channels for leads regarding national security have received over 7,000 reports since November 2022, the bureau said. The channels are a WeChat account, a dedicated email address — — and a text-only telephone number 62717171.

The bureau said the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong in June 2020 had restored Hong Kong's overall social stability and helped police crack down on radicals advocating terrorist attacks against the city.

However, it warned that some radicals have become more covert, with some spreading extremist ideas and inciting radical behaviors on the internet, posing challenges to Hong Kong's security.

As a result, authorities have decided to maintain the terrorism threat level at "moderate" to underscore the necessity of strengthening anti-terrorism work, the bureau said.

Ronny Tong Ka-wah, a member of the city's Executive Council, said most of the 291 people arrested were activists involved in social unrest in 2019, including the founder of the now-defunct Apple Daily newspaper, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying.

He said the newly enacted Safeguarding National Security Ordinance will ensure that such turbulence is unlikely to recur.

Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, a lawmaker representing the import and export sector, said the number of people arrested showed that the National Security Law only targets a handful of people endangering national security, while providing broad protection for the entire society.

Wong met with a delegation of businesspeople from Indonesia on Wednesday morning.

Business leaders from the Southeast Asian country are interested in investing in the city in view of its stable business environment following the enactment of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance in March, Wong said.


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