Show of force as seven US-sanctioned officers presented top awards

Top News | 11 Feb 2021

Maisy Mok

Seven high-ranking police officers - including Commissioner Chris Tang Ping-keung and former chief Stephen Lo Wai-chung - have been awarded the chief executive's commendation for government and public service after they were sanctioned by the United States.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor presented the awards yesterday in recognition of their contributions to safeguarding national security.

The Hong Kong Police Force completed preparations to implement the national security law and set up its National Security Department "within a critical time span," a government statement said.

The seven officers made "personal sacrifices" to safeguard national security and ensure the full implementation of one country, two systems, it added.

"[They demonstrated] steadfastness and fearlessness and the chief executive fully recognized and commended their work," a government spokesman said.

Lo was praised for combating the "social disturbance" in 2019 and safeguarding national security.

Tang and the other five were commended for their contributions to implementing national security law and safeguarding national security.

The five are officers from the National Security Department, including deputy police commissioner Edwina Lau Chi-wai, senior assistant commissioner Frederic Choi Chin-pang, assistant commissioners Kan Kai-yan and Kelvin Kong Hok-lai and senior superintendent Li Kwai-wah.

A police spokesman thanked Lam for her acknowledgment and support of the force.

The awards came after the US sanctions took effect on August 7 last year, with Lam - who was also sanctioned - saying she had to get her salary in cash after her bank services were suspended.

Tang, who was sanctioned along with predecessor Lo in August last year, said at the time that his banking services had been "partially suspended."

Tang reportedly remortgaged his Southern District flat from HSBC to Bank of China (Hong Kong) three days before he was sanctioned.

When Washington slapped a second round of sanctions on Hong Kong officials - including deputy police commissioner Lau and senior superintendent Li in November - former secretary of state Michael Pompeo said they will be barred from traveling to the United States and their assets within the jurisdiction of America or in the possession or control of US persons will be blocked.

Choi, Kan, and Kong were added to the sanction list in January this year for developing, adopting or implementing the national security law.

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