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HK says farewell to Xuelong 2

The nation’s first domestically built Antarctic research icebreaker, Xuelong 2, has completed a five-day visit to Hong Kong and began its return journey to Shanghai this afternoon.   A farewell ceremony was held at Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, where Under Secretary for Environment & Ecology Diane Wong and the committee that organised the visit led the farewells for Xuelong 2 and its crew, the 40th Chinese Antarctic scientific expedition team.   The chairman of the organising committee, Ma Fung-kwok, expressed his deep satisfaction with the visit. He emphasised that it had not only fostered a genuine interest among citizens in polar research but had also raised awareness about the pressing issue of climate change.   Looking ahead, the organising committee is already in discussions with relevant departments to explore opportunities for Hong Kong scholars and students to participate in future scientific expeditions, particularly in the field of polar research.   Du

Anti-China organisation condemned

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today issued a strong condemnation of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation, which it stressed is an anti-China organisation and has acted to intimidate central government and Hong Kong SAR Government officials.

In a statement, the Hong Kong SAR Government said the CFHK Foundation had blatantly requested the US to impose “sanctions” on central government and Hong Kong SAR Government officials, in particular those taking part in formulating the Basic Law Article 23 legislation, whilst also smearing the Safeguarding National Security Bill.

Such acts may constitute offences relating to “collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security” under National Security Law Article 29, it said.

The Legislative Council Bills Committee is currently scrutinising the bill.

The Hong Kong SAR Government said the CFHK Foundation had attempted to collude with a foreign country or with external elements, and had blatantly clamoured for “sanctions” against dutiful officials of the central and Hong Kong SAR governments with a view to intimidating them. It said these actions completely ignored the legislative procedures of the Hong Kong SAR and demonstrated despicable intentions.

It added that the foundation has initiated a number of anti-China campaigns, including requesting the imposition of “sanctions” on officials, as well as the closure of the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Offices in the US.

The Hong Kong SAR Government stated that the foundation’s claim to not be anti-China is obviously untrue and urged members of the public to discern facts from fallacies.

It also pointed out that Hui Wing-ting, a wanted person, is a core member of the CFHK Foundation.

Moreover, it said the foundation’s acts demonstrate the necessity of measures in the bill to target absconders charged with offences endangering national security, including a prohibition against making funds available to, or dealing with the funds of, an absconder, and a proposal to facilitate the cancellation of Hong Kong SAR passports.

It added that it is necessary to protect people handling cases or other work concerning national security, enabling the relevant officers to carry out their work without worries, and that this would buttress and strengthen the enforcement of safeguarding security.

The Hong Kong SAR Government stressed that, as stipulated in the bill, one of the fundamental principles in legislating for safeguarding national security is to respect and protect human rights.

The bill expressly provides that the rights and freedoms enjoyed under the Basic Law, and the provisions of the two international covenants on human rights as applied to the Hong Kong SAR, will be protected in accordance with the law, it added.

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