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Global Times

UPDATE: Guangdong Party veteran Zheng Yanxiong appointed as head of central govt's office for safeguarding national security in HK

Global Times

By Chen Qingqing and Fan Lingzhi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/3 12:22:14

China's central government announced on Friday that Zheng Yanxiong, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Guangdong Provincial Committee, will lead the office for safeguarding national security of the central government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), finalizing law-enforcement mechanisms and fulfilling the central government's ultimate responsibilities over national security matters in the city.

Zheng is vastly experienced in education and publicity sectors, as he worked for Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and the Huanan branch of the People's Daily during his early career. He was the Party's top official in Shanwei, Guangdong Province in 2011, during which time he oversaw the resolving of land disputes in Wukan village.

In 2011, some residents in Wuhan village accused the village committee of illegal land grabbing and staged protests, and Zheng settled the disputes with local authorities returning some disputed land to the Wukan villagers.

Zheng was known for his though-provoking remarks during the Wuhan village incident. He reportedly said, "We will see pigs fly before the foreign media can be trusted."

Li Jiangzhou, director of the police liaison department of the liaison office of the central government in the HKSAR, and Sun Qingye were appointed as deputy heads of the new office.

According to media reports, Li Jiangzhou, born in 1968, graduated from the People's Public Security University of China and joined the Ministry of Public Security in 1990. Before coming to Hong Kong, Li was mainly responsible for domestic security operations, and specialized on collecting intelligence. He also served as the deputy head of Hong Kong and Macao affairs under the ministry.

Sun is from the Ministry of State Security (MSS), according to several sources, with the rest of the official's history so far not disclosed.

"The appointment of the director of the office is definitely from a professional perspective, as national security involves more professional work such as legal work," Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times.

The new office will operate with a high authority and work with existing central government institutions, including the central government liaison office and foreign ministry commissioner's office, as well as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Garrison in Hong Kong, to jointly safeguard national security through sharing intelligence and analysis, according to observers.

Both Li and Sun's backgrounds fit well the purpose of enhancing the sharing of intelligence and analysis, and handling national security matters in the HKSAR, observers said.

According to the law, the office staff shall be dispatched by relevant national security authorities under the central people's government. Observers noted that the staff could mainly come from the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the Ministry of State Security (MSS).

Under the national security law for Hong Kong, the central government also designated Luo Huining, head of the central government's liaison office in HKSAR as a national security advisor to the HKSAR committee for safeguarding national security, who provides advice on matters related to the duties and functions of the committee.

"The office and the committee will closely work and coordinate with each other in enhancing information sharing and law enforcement, which means all departments involved will remain in close communication," Tang said.

Correction: Sun's gender remains unknown with the little public information disclosed.

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