Riots to push HK into ‘abyss’

By Chen Qingqing and Wang Wenwen in Hong Kong, Zhao Yusha in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/13 15:03:39

If situation continues, city to ‘fall from pinnacle’


Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam strongly condemned the violent acts of storming the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR at a press meeting in Hong Kong, south China, July 22, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor warned Tuesday that Hong Kong has descended into a state of panic and that violence during protests would push the city into "the abyss of destruction."

Lam made the remarks at a weekly meeting of the Executive Council, her top policy advisory body. The meeting was called two weeks ahead of the end to its summer recess.

The city has descended into panic after witnessing massive scale destruction, which has paralyzed the airport, blocked the tunnel and injured police officers, Lam said.

She asserted that Hong Kong police were an important pillar in Hong Kong's rule of law. 

However, hostile words, unverified pictures and videos, and vicious attacks against the police have put them on the opposite side of the public and done no good for the city at all, Lam asserted.

"My responsibility as chief executive is to ensure that Hong Kong remains a safe, orderly, and law-binding city," Lam said.

"Without the rule of law in Hong Kong, 7 million people cannot live in a peaceful manner. That requires my support for the law enforcement." 

Once the violence ends, she said that she will be responsible for building Hong Kong's economy and will listen tentatively and try to help the city to move on. 

Lam stressed that Hong Kong is seriously wounded and will take a long time to recover.

A 15-minute press conference by Lam was continually interrupted by Hong Kong and Western media reporters. 

Hong Kong has seen escalating violence across the city over the last week: obstruction of public transport and major roads, violent clashes with the police and unlawful protests inside the airport which forced flights to be canceled on Monday and Tuesday night. 

"As the chief executive said today, Hong Kong has been seriously wounded. If the situation continues, Hong Kong will fall from the pinnacle of its prime and it will take a long time to recover its international image, Timothy Chui Ting-pong, executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Chui noted that today's violent incidents are consuming what Hong Kong has built before. 

People in Hong Kong should unite to see the sun shine again, Chui believed. "Otherwise, Hong Kong will lose the achievements made by several generations," Chui said.

A Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council spokesperson said Monday it was a crime to attack police officers with dangerous weapons.

Such actions showed signs of terrorism, the spokesperson said, "and such crimes must be dealt with resolutely and in accordance with the law." 

The continuing violence also angered some Hong Kong residents, who expressed their support for the police force and strongly condemned violent protesters and their supporters.

According to a video clip circulating on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, an elderly man on the subway in Hong Kong criticized protesters standing in front of him, saying that he would beat them up if the protesters caused trouble on the train and affected others' work.

The video in which the old man called the protesters "rubbish" and "less than beggars" attracted 400,000 views as of press time, with internet users expressing support for his hardcore attitude.

On Tuesday, a dozen Hong Kong residents gathered outside the residence of Martin Lee Chu-ming, one of the most outspoken opposition members against the now-shelved extradition bill.

The residents held banners calling Lee a "national traitor" and urged him to "get out of Hong Kong."

Lee came under the spotlight after he was photographed meeting Julie Eadeh, political unit chief of the US consulate general in Hong Kong on August 6. 

After meeting Lee, Eadeh talked with Hong Kong secessionists including Joshua Wong.

Hong Kong-based newspaper Ta Kung Pao reported that Wong and Eadeh discussed issues such as banning US exports of equipment to the Hong Kong police. 

Lee, along with Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang and former lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan have been condemned by many locals for bringing chaos to Hong Kong. 

About 20 residents gathered at Lai's residence on Sunday, calling Lai a national traitor and demanding he get out of Hong Kong, according to a separate Ta Kung Pao report on Monday.

Wang Wenwen contributed to this story


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