HK locals slam violence for harming regional stability

By Fan Lingzhi and Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/12 0:38:40

Amendment aimed at ‘closing loopholes in region’s law’

File Photo: IC

Without powerful interference from foreign forces, especially the US, opposition groups would not have the capability to enact such violent incidents in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today, experts said Tuesday, after local opposition groups violently stormed the Legislative Council to oppose the extradition law amendment.

According to a report by Hong Kong-based media outlet on Tuesday, opposition groups against the extradition law amendment, which could allow the Chinese mainland to extradite criminals from Hong Kong, organized protesters to violently storm the Legislative Council of the HKSAR.

Another Hong Kong-based media reported that opposition groups were cooperating with extreme Hong Kong-separatism activists to plan another assault against the Legislative Council early on Wednesday, and they will use weapons including "bottles filled with gas and oil paint, as well as edge tools, iron sticks and small-sized crossbows to attack police officers."

The South China Morning Post reported that the violence started on Sunday. "Protesters used bottles and metal barriers to attack police who tried to drive them away with batons and pepper spray outside Hong Kong's legislature late on Sunday night," the newspaper said. 

The violent incident has brought heavy criticism from different groups in Hong Kong, since this has seriously harmed the stability and prosperity of the city. 

Experts noted that without the interference from foreign forces, especially the US, the opposition groups and extreme Hong Kong separatists would not have been able to launch such a serious attack.  

Hung Kam-in, deputy secretary-general of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, told the Global Times that Hong Kong is a civilized city. "It should have no tolerance for violent activity. The people who conducted and planned this violence should be punished according to the law," he said.

Hung also said that extradition according to the law is very normal in many countries and regions in the world, including the US. "Without this amendment, there will be loopholes in Hong Kong's legal system, and those Western media and officials' stance on the matter is truly ridiculous."

"Inciting young people to street violence is very irresponsible. It will bring great damage to the social order of Hong Kong and take the next generation on a road with no return," said Chan Cheuk-hay, a Hong Kong member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. 

The real purpose of some people who have instigated such extreme behavior is to damage the policy of one-country, two-systems, Hung noted. 

Hung, as a public representative, also interviewed many locals from different communities, and he said that "the vast majority of them would support the extradition bill if they knew what it's really about. They don't want to see Hong Kong, one of the safest cities in the world, become a haven for terrorists, murderers and rapists."

Foreign forces

Geng Shuang, spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press conference on Tuesday that affairs in Hong Kong are China's domestic affairs and no other country, organization or individual has the right to interfere.

In response to Hong Kong's move to amend its laws, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters Monday that the US was gravely concerned about proposed amendments to Hong Kong laws, and that the amendments "could undermine Hong Kong's autonomy" and "damage Hong Kong's business environment."

Geng urged the US to exercise impartiality over Hong Kong's amendment, and to stop interfering in China's domestic affairs.

Tian Feilong, an associate professor at Beihang University in Beijing and an expert on Hong Kong, told the Global Times that "although the US and other foreign forces have no right to governance in Hong Kong, they have powerful influence to make trouble in the city. This proves that the legal system and law enforcement in Hong Kong should be improved."

Due to the worsening China-US ties and escalating trade war, the US is using its influence to make trouble for China, and this will damage China's national interests, Tian said. 

"This will divide society in Hong Kong and weaken the efficiency of the governance for the HKSAR government; for the whole country, it might further damage China's national strategy to build the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area."

Chan, who is also the principal of the Hong Kong College of Technology, stressed that the violence was a serious issue. 

"Hong Kong's future would be finished if their misdoings are not restrained," he said. 

Chan believes that the incident has occurred under the background of "the struggle between great powers."

"People can see clear double standards from many Western countries. They insist on 'zero tolerance' to violence in their home countries, but use a totally different standard when it comes to Hong Kong," he said.

Tian noted that China needs to learn from the fact that some opposition groups in Hong Kong will firmly stand with foreign forces to instigate internal conflicts and hijack public opinion in the city, so to some extent, they are illegal forces rather than normal political groups in Hong Kong.

China has repeatedly expressed its stance on the issue, Geng said, noting that the HKSAR government has already heard opinions from the public on amending the extradition law and has made two drafts. "The Chinese central government will continue to firmly support the SAR government's move to amend the law." 

Tian said the incident should remind the HKSAR government and the Central Government of China to speed up legislative efforts to provide a legal basis for strict law enforcement, especially regarding national security and to crackdown foreign forces and extremists in the city, since patriotic forces in Hong Kong cannot solve problems independently.

HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said Monday that the Hong Kong government will not withdraw the extradition bill, but vowed to further explain its purpose to ease public concerns, Radio Television Hong Kong reported on Monday.

Newspaper headline: Violence mars HK stability

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