HK situation shows sign of change, but remains complex

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/2 21:18:40

This past weekend, Hong Kong remained chaotic, with many violent demonstrations taking place. But the number of people involved in the demonstrations has come down significantly, and the techniques used by radical protesters to break the order and foment chaos with the help of flash mobs have become more obvious. The situation in Hong Kong is showing signs of change, but remains highly complex.

The Global Times reporting team in Hong Kong has the following impression of the situation.

First, Hong Kong police are more resolute and the morale appears to be high. In addition to stepping up arrests in recent days for inciting, organizing and participating in illegal protests, they have also been more decisive in dealing with the situation. Up close, their momentum can overwhelm the arrogance of the mob. Thugs are still afraid of the police, wherever the cops start clearing, the mobs disperse.

Second, the composition of the people involved in the demonstration is complex. In the absence of mass rallies, the average protesting crowd is small, at least for this weekend.

Third, the demonstrators are mostly young. They tend to act in unison and are clearly organized. There was another illegal rally at the airport on Sunday. On our way to the airport, we saw a bus next to us almost entirely filled with young people. They dressed in black as they approached the protest site. We filmed them and they immediately turned away their faces. It seems they're wary and afraid of showing their face.

Fourth, there were a lot of arson incidents in Hong Kong this weekend. Some of these arson fires were provocative, and didn't cause serious damage. Rioters set things ablaze to brush up their presence and boost their morale and put pressure on the HKSAR government and the public.

Fifth, the media professionals whom we met with in Hong Kong generally agreed that violence is wrong. But their logic is that the government's disapproval of the five major demands of the demonstrators is the cause of the violence. 

Sixth, Western public opinion still has a huge impact on Hong Kong society. Media people who sympathize with the opposition and demonstrators value their shared values with Western media organizations and politicians, but generally fail to understand the differences between the interests of Hong Kong society and those of the US and Britain. 

Seventh, Hong Kong is not out of kilter. Chaos occurs at specific times and places, although the spillovers are also significant. The HKSAR government and the police force still have more legal resources and means at their disposal, but that does not mean restoring order will be easy. 

Eighth, more than two months of turmoil in Hong Kong has had a serious impact on the economy, especially on the tourism industry in general, making life difficult for many people. There is no doubt that the negative impact of violent demonstrations is increasing. The most important thing is to help the general public of Hong Kong realize that it is the result of the unrest itself, rather than having people misinterpret those shocks. 

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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