This photo released by the Hong Kong Police Force on its official website shows Edwina Lau Chi-wai, the deputy commissioner of police in charge of national security.
The outgoing national security chief of the Hong Kong Police Force has warned that the special administrative region still faces underlying national security threats, especially in the shape of “soft confrontations” that could incite people to engage in activities endangering the city and the nation.
Edwina Lau Chi-wai, 57, deputy police commissioner in charge of national security, also said that recent measures introduced for protests requiring participants to wear tags for identification are standard practice in light of the “painful experience” of the social unrest in 2019. Those approaches have been distorted by “people with ulterior motives”, she added.
Earlier this week, Lau, in an interview with media outlets ahead of her retirement, made her final appeal to the public in her professional capacity, cautioning members of the community to not let their guards down as Hong Kong still faces underlying national security risks.
As an example of a “soft confrontation”, Edwina Lau Chi-wai, 57, deputy police commissioner in charge of national security, used the case of man who stabbed a police officer before taking his own life in Causeway Bay on July 1, 2021, saying the therapist who testified in court believed the attacker was incited by seditious news reports that police officers found in his home following his death
Although stability has been restored to society since the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, some threats are still lurking or could surge back again in the form of “soft confrontations”.
As an example of a “soft confrontation”, she used the case of man who stabbed a police officer before taking his own life in Causeway Bay on July 1, 2021, saying the therapist who testified in court believed the attacker was incited by seditious news reports that police officers found in his home following his death.
Lau mentioned another case in which a children’s picture book series was shown to have seditious content and engendering hatred of others. The books look colorful and attractive, she said, but the content was designed to plant seditious ideas in the minds of readers.
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“The content was like seeds planted in children’s minds and will have a far-reaching poisonous influence,” she said.
The 57-year-old veteran police officer was appointed as the first head of the Police Force’s National Security Department on July 3, 2020, three days after the implementation of the NSL.
Lau called her appointment a “lifetime honor” and the most unforgettable moment of her 38 years of service in the force. She scoffed at the sanctions imposed by the United States in 2020 for her role in safeguarding national security in Hong Kong. “The sanctions just hardened my resolve to safeguard national security,” she added.
In this file photo dated April 15, 2021, members of the Hong Kong Police Force march during a parade at an open day at the Police College in Hong Kong. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
Lau called her appointment a “lifetime honor” and the most unforgettable moment of her 38 years of service in the force. She scoffed at the sanctions imposed by the United States in 2020 for her role in safeguarding national security in Hong Kong
Over 250 people have been arrested for violating the NSL by Lau’s department in nearly three years. Among them, about 150 have been prosecuted and the conviction rate for closed cases is 100 percent, she added. Those result could not be achieved without the National Security Department’s rigorous investigation and adequate evidence, she said. The outgoing police officer said the numbers are testament to the fact that the NSL targeted a handful of outlaws to protect the interests of the majority.
Lau said she hopes that her successor will have a “fighting spirit” to safeguard national security.
“Safeguarding national security is a path beset with difficulties. It is destined to be uneasy. Those who choose to do so are patriots who have courage and undertaking,” Lau said.
When asked if she will take up any national security related roles in her retirement, Lau cited Director of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Xia Baolong’s words that everyone matters in safeguarding national security and she would love to contribute if given the opportunity.
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In her retirement, Lau said she may travel on high-speed trains to visit Chinese mainland cities and see for herself the extent of the nation’s development.