Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung led a delegation to visit mainland public security authorities this week in China, but the trip was only revealed after it had ended.
On Friday morning, the police issued a press release saying the seven-member delegation went to Guilin in Guangxi Province on Monday as a part of the regular annual meeting between Hong Kong and mainland authorities.
Some returned on Wednesday and others returned to Hong Kong on Thursday.
The delegation met with the Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Public Security Chen Zhimin, as well as representatives from various counterparts of the ministry.
The police said it, and the ministry, take turns to host regular meetings on an annual basis, and it was the 25th meeting held so far.
“In the meeting, both sides expressed their views on issues of mutual concern, including police liaison, boundary security, criminal investigation, cyber and technology crimes, cross-boundary crimes, training, anti-narcotics and counter-terrorism,” it said. “Both parties also raised proposals on strengthening cooperation and set clear objectives for collaboration in the coming year.”
During the trip, Lo led some of the delegation members to Beijing on Wednesday and met with the International Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security in the afternoon for a discussion on INTERPOL-related matters.
In June last year, Director of Immigration Erick Tsang Kwok-wai visited Beijing and met with Chinese Politburo member Meng Jianzhu, but local media were not notified of his visit until it was reported by the Chinese official news agency Xinhua.
The Immigration Department said it does not notify the media when the director goes on courtesy calls.
It said its usual practice was to consider notifying the media within a suitable time after the director had achieved certain results during an official visit.
Former police commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung flew to Beijing in August 2012 for a three-day visit without notifying the press.
But he was discovered by a passerby there and the media widely reported it. The police had to issue a press release on the second day of the courtesy call.
Tsang also claimed that the media would only be notified if the visit had achieved certain results, but it was found that media were notified a day before his previous Beijing visit in March 2012
At the time, the Hong Kong Journalists Association said Tsang’s remarks were “ridiculous” as police work was sensitive and the public had a right to know.