China's selection of a top intelligence official to head Hong Kong's national security regime is seen as a clear indication of its determination to strengthen control over the financial hub, as per

diplomats and analysts. The appointee, Dong, will enhance security oversight in Hong Kong, a city that experienced pro-democracy protests in 2019, challenging Beijing's Communist Party leadership.

The security law grants China's national security office extensive investigative and surveillance powers, enjoying immunity from local laws. Furthermore, the office has been tasked with overseeing "foreign countries and international organizations." Dong, a former vice-minister in China's most powerful intelligence organization, the Ministry of State Security, is known for catching foreign spies in China.

In 2021, Dong emphasized the need for a "people's war" against espionage, focusing on catching not just spies but also internal traitors colluding with foreign spy agencies. The Ministry of State Security is playing a significant role in tightening control over some foreign activities in China, contributing to rising tensions with the United States, according to diplomats. The appointment signals China's resolve to maintain a strong grip on Hong Kong's national security, given the ongoing geopolitical complexities. Photo by Dick Rochester from Lafayette, Colorado, United States, Wikimedia commons.