Glorifying ‘lone-wolf’ terrorist attacks in Hong Kong must cease: Global Times editorial
Published: Jul 08, 2021 10:43 PM
Photo taken on Feb 4, 2021 shows police cars at the Police Tactical Unit Headquarters in Hong Kong, south China.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on Feb 4, 2021 shows police cars at the Police Tactical Unit Headquarters in Hong Kong. Photo:Xinhua

Peace and stability of Hong Kong has been ruined again. On Tuesday, the Hong Kong Police Force announced that they arrested nine people who allegedly attempted to make bombs and planned a series of attacks. A university employee and six high school students are among those arrested. One day later, the University of Hong Kong Students' Union Council passed a motion mourning the death of Leung Kin-fai, the man who carried out a "lone-wolf"-style terrorist attack against a police officer and then killed himself last week. In the motion, the organization expressed its "deep sadness at the death of Leung Kin-fai" and appreciated "his [Leung's] sacrifice to Hong Kong." It is shocking how distorted the value reflected in these matters is. Hong Kong society needs to act firmly to curb the growing tendency of this value that confuses good and evil.

The unrest sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill in Hong Kong has greatly damaged the city's rule of law. It has also profoundly eroded the social ideology that plays a key supporting role in the rule of law. "Lone wolf"-style terrorist attacks cause the biggest damage to modern society. When such attacks take place, Hong Kong society should condemn and spurn them. But these days, things are going in a very worrying direction, as some people mourned Leung and even called him  "a man who seeks justice" online.

"Lone wolf"-style terrorist attacks disrupt social order directly. The fight against them has nothing to do with politics because it is completely about the rule of law. This kind of attack is usually a way for terrorists to vent their extreme emotions. Its antisocial nature comprehensively overwhelms the individualized causes that lead to such behavior. The handling of the "lone wolf" attacks can be seen as a mirror: When a society overemphasizes and promotes individualized causes, it indicates a certain value division in that society. The problem is even more serious when some people stir politics up and rationalize such attacks for political purposes.

The implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed Hong Kong's political environment for the better, but it takes much longer to have an impact on Hong Kong's public opinion and social environment. The "lone wolf" terrorist attack and some people's glorification of this extreme action sound the alarm for people: We must speed up the reconstruction of public opinion and social environment, resolutely eliminate radical and extreme things in the ideological field, and lay a solid ideological foundation for the long-term peace and stability of Hong Kong.

In the US and Western society, "lone wolf"-style terrorist attacks on police officers must be unanimously condemned. A suspect like Leung won't get sympathy or praise from any cracks in public opinion. The same is true of large-scale violence. In January, the violent attack on the US Capitol Hill by supporters of Trump and the Republican Party was condemned by both parties, and Trump himself was forced to join in the condemnation as well.

It is a fundamental mistake to make a political distinction between "lone wolf" attacks and judge some of them as "just." The West is eager to mislead Hong Kong society, and the public in Hong Kong must resolutely resist it and firmly persist the value that any "lone wolf" terror attack is not acceptable and must be severely punished.

Healthy and correct collective values and a stable social order that transcends political disputes are in the interests of all Hong Kong people. As a developed society, Hong Kong must take the rule of law as the starting point and order as the carrier of prosperity. Once the rule of law and order are damaged beyond repair, Hong Kong will lose its systematic self-protection. Once the Pandora's Box of prolonged political turmoil is opened, all Hong Kong people will become victims.

Hong Kong has a sound economic base and a solid comprehensive ground. The level of education of the people is relatively high. The most important thing is not to be politically deviated and misled by the US and Western value system. With the strong support of the motherland, the prosperity of the city is not a spent bullet, and its momentum for future development will be continuously accumulated.