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Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Population decline 'not caused by emigration'

Population decline 'not caused by emigration'

It's alarmist and politically biased to say Hong Kong has been "mainlandized" in the wake of the implementation of the national security law, a Beijing official overseeing Hong Kong affairs said yesterday.
Speaking in the Hong Kong and Macau session of a series of press briefings hosted by the Communist Party's publicity department on the recent decade of China in Beijing yesterday, the deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Huang Liuquan, said it's inappropriate to say Hong Kong is facing an emigration wave as the SAR always has a high mobility in population as an international city.

Safeguarding national security is a common practice around the world and it is hard to imagine any country allowing words and acts that subvert state power and divide the country, Huang said.

He added that all countries have their own national security law.

"In my opinion, the national security law in Hong Kong is no different from that in other countries. It is the same from the purpose of the legislation to its content," he said.

"Some people said the implementation of the national security law makes the SAR become 'mainlandized.' Such a statement is alarmist and politically biased," he said.

Local polls have shown, he added, that 71.9 percent of the public believe the rule of law has been restored by the national security law and life has become peaceful.

The law has increased local confidence in the "one country, two systems" principle, Huang said.

Hong Kong ranked third in the Global Financial Centres Index published by Z/Yen Group in London and the China Development Institute in Shenzhen in March with the law in place, Huang said.

The number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas or in the mainland has also risen to a record high of 9,049 last year, and as many as 50,087 new companies have been set up in the first half of this year.

Huang also said President Xi Jinping has stressed that Hong Kong's unique status and advantages must be maintained.

"The central government has always cherished Hong Kong's unique advantage of connection with the world while being supported by the mainland," Huang said.

Huang also said it's "inappropriate" to say Hong Kong is facing an emigration wave despite more than 110,000 people having moved to other countries over the past year.

He said the decline in population was caused by various reasons, including deaths, and there is no evidence to show the drop was caused by an emigration wave.

Huang also cited the SAR administration as saying Hong Kong always has a high mobility in population as an international city.

"Hong Kong has now entered a new phase of even greater prosperity after the SAR recovered its stability from chaos, and Hong Kong society is confident in the future development of the city," he said.

The SAR will succeed in attracting more talents, he insisted.

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