Hong Kong’s leader has commended police top brass who were sanctioned by the United States, honouring their contributions towards safeguarding national security.
At a ceremony on Wednesday hosted at Government House, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor handed awards to seven serving and retired police leaders in recognition of their public service.
A government statement noted that the force had, within “a critical time span”, urgently prepared the necessary manpower, equipment, strategies and guidelines after Beijing imposed the national security law on Hong Kong on June 30 last year.
“In the past few months, the responsible officers presented outstanding leadership, professionalism and courage to shoulder responsibility and unwavering commitment to discharge their duties in safeguarding national security. Their work is commendable,” the government said.
Among the recipients were Commissioner of Police Chris Tang Ping-keung, deputy commissioner overseeing national security Edwina Lau Chi-wai and former commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung.
Also honoured were the force’s Director of National Security Frederic Choi Chin-pang, assistant commissioners Kan Kai-yan and Kelvin Kong Hok-lai and Senior Superintendent Li Kwai-wah.
Washington earlier sanctioned all seven, accusing them of undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy through the national security legislation, a charge both Beijing and Hong Kong dismissed as foreign interference. Those sanctioned will have their US-linked assets frozen.
“Seven relevant police officers made personal sacrifices to safeguard national security and ensure the full implementation of the ‘one country, two systems’ policy, demonstrating steadfastness and fearlessness,” the statement added.
Most members of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security attended the event.
The police leaders said in a joint statement: “It is a duty and honour of the force to maintain the security of the country and Hong Kong. Those who received the award thank the chief executive for her affirmation and support of the police force.”