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HK leader urged society to remain vigilant against national security threats
China Daily
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HK leader urged society to remain vigilant against national security threats

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu urged society on Jun 4 to remain vigilant against national security threats after recent verdicts in a subversion trial sounded the alarm.

A court in Hong Kong handed down verdicts in a subversion case related to an illegal "primary election" before the Legislative Council election in 2020, finding 14 people arrested in 2021 guilty of conspiring to subvert State power under the National Security Law for Hong Kong, and acquitting two defendants.

With 31 suspects pleading guilty before the trial began, 45 of the 47 defendants in the subversion case were convicted.

Speaking ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lee said the large number of people convicted in the subversion case shows the scale and the seriousness of the criminal scheme they plotted, adding that the Department of Justice will file an appeal against the acquittals.

Lee said the evidence presented during the trial has made the public understand the defendants' "mutual destruction" plan and other approaches aimed at calling for external sanctions and paralyzing the city's economy and social operation, which, if successful, would have caused untold harm to Hong Kong.

The verdicts also established several important principles in terms of national security trials, including that "unlawful means" in the offense of subversion of State power is not limited to the use of force or threat of force, Lee added.

He said that a key step in the illegal scheme was to obtain a majority in the legislature through the so-called "primary election" and then indiscriminately vote down the government's budgets in order to compel the government to accede to their demands.

The scheme also planned to disrupt lawmakers' constitutional duties stipulated in Article 73 of the special administrative region's Basic Law, including examining and approving the budgets introduced by the government and public expenditures, he said.

The verdicts show that the risk of endangering national security is real and that criminals will use pretexts to commit acts that endanger national security, Lee said.

He warned Hong Kong people to remain vigilant against national security threats and prevent Hong Kong from suffering such chaos again.

China DailyGu Yetao

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