The Chinese authorities on Wednesday officially opened the new agency in Hong Kong that will be engaged in monitoring the implementation of the newly enacted law on national security in the special administrative region, media reported.
According to RTHK broadcaster, the authorities have transformed the Metropark Hotel in Causeway Bay into the headquarters for the Central government's Office for Safeguarding National Security.
Beijing security agents will be operating here under the new legislation targeting separatist, subversive and terrorist activities, along with any form of foreign interference in Hong Kong.
Dozens of local government officials, including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and pro-Beijing figures attended the ceremony of opening the office, where its director, Zheng Yanxiong promised that his agents will abide by the law when doing their job without violating anyone's legal rights.
In late June, the highest legislative authority of China, the standing committee of the National Peoples' Congress, passed the draft law on national security in Hong Kong, which criminalises subversion, separatism, terrorism and collusion with third countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping enacted the law shortly after.
Despite the concerns of local pro-democracy advocates over the new law's negative impact on civil liberties in the city, both Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have stressed that the law only aims to target subversive and terrorist activities without harming existing democratic liberties of local residents.
Under the 1984 Joint Declaration of the United Kingdom and China, Hong Kong went under Chinese rule in 1997 as a special administrative unit whose citizens would enjoy exclusive political, economic and personal freedoms until 2047 under the "one country, two systems" concept.
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