Secretary for Justice rejects labelling U.S. as unfriendly, emphasises confidence in global relations

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Paul Lam

8th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) Secretary for Justice Paul Lam, expressed his disagreement with labelling the United States as unfriendly during a forum on Saturday. Lam dismissed the idea that the US should be considered unfriendly based on the words and deeds of some individuals. He highlighted that while there may be inappropriate remarks made, it would be irrational to brand the entire country as unfriendly. Lam emphasised that Hong Kong is an international city that engages with all sides and should demonstrate confidence and ability in maintaining connections with the outside world.

Lam further stated that the pursuit of national security should be seen as relative rather than absolute. He emphasised the importance of striking a balance between safeguarding safety and fostering development. Lam used the analogy of locking oneself in a house with multiple doors, equating it to an absolute state of security that hinders growth and understanding. He stressed the need for wisdom and judgment in determining when to open and close the metaphorical door.

Regarding concerns about the sedition offence under the new domestic security legislation, Lam acknowledged worries among residents that criticizing the government harshly could be considered inciting hatred. However, he encouraged residents to offer constructive criticism to foster better policymaking while distinguishing it from seditious acts.