Secretary for Security John Lee says that state leader Han Zheng told him that the Hong Kong government should handle the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) in accordance with the law.

Lee was leading the Hong Kong Disciplined Services Cultural Exchange Delegation in Beijing. He was received by Han, vice-premier of the State Council at the Great Hall of the People on Monday.

HKNP is facing a government ban after authorities deemed it a threat to national security. Lee himself will make the final decision over whether to ban the party. It has until September 11 to make its case to the government, but party convener Andy Chan has yet to signal whether he will make a response.

john lee
John Lee. File Photo:

Speaking to reporters in Beijing on Tuesday, Lee said he would handle the case in accordance with section 8 of the Societies Ordinance on banning societies. He cited Han as saying that the central government has zero tolerance when it comes to advocating Hong Kong independence.

“When I introduced my work in Hong Kong, I did not actively mention any case. But indeed, when the vice-premier spoke about Hong Kong independence, he mentioned the handling of the Hong Kong National Party case – we have to handle it in accordance with the law,” Lee said.

Lee also cited Han as saying that it was important for the Hong Kong disciplined services to “correctly understand the Basic Law and also act in accordance with the laws in Hong Kong.”

Han Zheng Hong Kong Disciplined Services Cultural Exchange Delegation
Han Zheng meeting the Hong Kong Disciplined Services Cultural Exchange Delegation. Photo: GovHK.

On Monday, Han also praised the contributions made by Hong Kong’s disciplined services.

Han said he hoped the disciplined services will firmly and effectively protect national security, protect the rule of law in Hong Kong, provide quality services to Hong Kong residents, and actively promote cooperation and exchange between Hong Kong and the mainland.

It was the sixth time that the delegation has visited Beijing since 2006.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.