Students and staff walk into the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, south China, Jan. 13, 2020. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

"We support the national security laws which will operate under the principle of 'one country, two systems' to better ensure universities can continue to create knowledge through research and learning," a joint statement from major universities in Hong Kong said.

HONG KONG, June 2 (Xinhua) -- The major universities in Hong Kong on Monday voiced support for the national security legislation for Hong Kong.

Chairmen of the councils of eight government-funded universities released a joint statement on Monday expressing support for the legislation.

"As residents of Hong Kong, we enjoy the protection provided by the state, and in turn have a reciprocal obligation to protect the state by supporting the introduction of legislation which prohibits criminal acts that threaten the existence of the state," the joint statement said.

"We therefore support the national security laws which will operate under the principle of 'one country, two systems,' to better ensure universities can continue to create knowledge through research and learning," it added.

The eight universities include the City University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University, the Lingnan University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Education University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Hong Kong.

The Open University of Hong Kong said in a separate statement on Monday that a well-established national security law will help effectively safeguard Hong Kong's safety and overall interests of its residents, enabling Hong Kong to continue to develop and prosper.

"We also trust that the 'one country, two systems' principle, as well as the related freedoms and the rule of law will continue to be maintained and protected," it added. ■

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