December 6, 2023
HONG KONG – Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Tuesday that the special administrative region government will spare no effort in bringing fugitive offenders involved in endangering national security to justice.
He made the statement while responding to questions from the media concerning Agnes Chow Ting, who was arrested on suspicion of colluding with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security after she revealed her plan to jump bail.
“Now that she has claimed to plan to jump bail and abscond from Hong Kong, police will do their utmost to pursue her, to arrest her. Fugitives will be pursued for life unless they turn themselves in,” he said.
Chow was arrested by police’s National Security Department on Aug 10, 2020 for suspected collusion with external forces and was subsequently sentenced to imprisonment for other offenses, serving a term from late 2020 to mid-2021.
Those who committed the crime of collusion have become foreign agents. They have betrayed the trust of Hong Kong people. They have betrayed the interests of Hong Kong.
John Lee, Chief Executive, HKSAR
Now studying for a master’s degree in Canada, she is required to report to the Hong Kong police in December as part of a national security investigation. On Sunday night, she announced via her Instagram account that she has decided not to return to Hong Kong and report to the police this month. She also said that she would probably never return to her hometown.
Talking to the press ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, the Hong Kong leader said some people in Hong Kong still underestimate national security threats posed by foreign forces.
“Those who committed the crime of collusion have become foreign agents. They have betrayed the trust of Hong Kong people. They have betrayed the interests of Hong Kong.”
Stressing that the people of Hong Kong must not ignore the interference of foreign forces in the SAR, he said: “They do it for their own political interests. They have not stopped.”
Residents must not forget the suffering Hong Kong endured when the city was hit by riots in 2019, Lee said. “Hong Kong must not forget the pain that we all had, despite the fact that the wounds of the 2019 riots and violence have somehow healed, but the pain should remain in our memory.”
He emphasized that the legislative exercise for Article 23 of the Basic Law must proceed with full strength.
“The legislative exercise will be completed next year to ensure that Article 23 legislation, that we then enact, together with the National Security Law, will form a solid national security legal system to improve the overall legal enforcement mechanism to safeguard national security,” said the CE.
Following her release on bail, the NSD imposed restrictions on her departure from Hong Kong under Schedule 2 of Article 43 of the National Security Law for Hong Kong. Chow had reported to the police as required, according to police.
After she expressed her intention to study abroad and submitted university admission documents as evidence to the authorities, the NSD returned her travel documents and extended her bail until this month. Chow landed in Canada in September.
Following Chow’s decision to jump bail, the Hong Kong Police Force and the country’s foreign ministry on Monday strongly condemned her irresponsible behavior in openly defying the rule of law.