Continue to disperse the specter of Civil Human Rights Front after its disbandment: Global Times editorial
Published: Aug 15, 2021 06:03 PM
Photo taken on July 1, 2020, shows Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, China. Photo: Xinhua

Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, China. Photo: Xinhua

The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), Hong Kong's biggest opposition alliance, announced its formal disbandment on Sunday. This is another major collapse for the opposition camp following the disbandment on August 10 of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union, a group that engaged in anti-China and trouble-making activities,. 

The national security law for Hong Kong has been continuously unleashing its power. When the CHRF was established 19 years ago, its initial aim was to attack the Article 23 of the Basic Law, an article that stipulates the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own to safeguard national security. We cannot help thinking: If the enactment of the national security law for Hong Kong hadn't met defiance from forces such as the CHRF, Hong Kong wouldn't have suffered so much turbulence and ups and downs. 

Noticeably, when it announced to disband on Sunday, the CHRF issued  a flagrant statement at the same time. The statement has no reflection on the countless crimes the alliance has committed in the past years. Instead, it arrogantly claimed the CHRF has set records by respectively drawing 500,000, 1 million, and 2 million residents to protests. Those destructive demonstrations seriously harmed the rule of law in Hong Kong and threatened national security, but the statement said they "allowed the world to see Hong Kong, allowed light to shine through darkness, and had sewn the seed of democracy and freedom in people's hearts." It also incited different organizations to "keep their beliefs, not forget about their original intentions and support civil society." 

It must be pointed out the CHRF that announced its disbandment is not the CHRF in 2019 when it was in its most rampant stage. At that unbridled time, the alliance brought together Hong Kong's 48 opposition organizations and groups. At its call, those groups created the large-scale, long-lasting protests against the extradition bill. After it was reported in March that the CHRF was probed over national security law violations, many opposition organizations began to cut ties with the alliance to avoid being implicated. Influential opposition groups such as the Neighbourhood and Worker's Service Centre, the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, the Civic Party, and the Democratic Party successively withdrew from the alliance. When the CHRF held its last meeting on Friday, only eight member groups participated. The announcement to disband was made at its last gasp. 

The tone of the above-mentioned statement constituted a sharp contrast to the reality that since March, the CHRF had been collapsing and it eventually disbanded. It was obviously making grand gestures. Many people suspected that the alliance's dissolution is designed to evade punishment under the national security law and to destroy evidence. On one hand, the CHRF disbanded out of fear for the national security law for Hong Kong; on the other, it uttered a few tough words in its statement and incited others to not be afraid, this has made many people see how laughable the alliance is. 

Hong Kong has entered a new chapter. The era is over when the radical opposition could stubbornly stand against the central government and recklessly plunge Hong Kong into turmoil under the support of the West. With the elimination of the extreme damage done by the CHRF and other evil forces, the "one country, two systems" principle will continue to be practiced based on the intent of the principle. And the possibility of other organizations and groups continuing what the CHRF has done will be eradicated by the national security law for Hong Kong.

Of course, we know that this struggle is far from being over yet. The CHRF still has left such "last words" to prove that they "died with dignity," even when it bid farewell to Hong Kong's political scene. This indicates that even though the framework and the stage for extreme opposition in Hong Kong are collapsing one by one, the specter of these forces will continue to haunt the city for a while to come. It is still possible that some of the radical opposition forces are preparing to continue resisting piecemeal. Thus, the Hong Kong society needs to completely eradicate the influence of these forces.

Let's carry on with the eradication of the radical opposition forces in Hong Kong. It will take continued efforts to do so, but the current situation is clear enough: The effects of every upcoming battle are expected to be profound, and victory is in sight. In 2019, the unrest over an extradition bill almost got out of control and turned into violence. This year, the bastions of some of the most rampant anti-China forces in Hong Kong, such as the CHRF and the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union, have collapsed. It shows that the central government has the power to achieve such an incredible change, so the next change will definitely not deviate from the logical line of history.

Hong Kong is returning to normal. Generally speaking, the behaviors of those opposition forces today will be involved in the determination of whether they have broken the law, should they be prosecuted, and how to convict them. Therefore, we would like to conclude by saying that the radical opposition forces that once played a destructive role in Hong Kong should repent and mend their thinking and behavior as early as possible. And those who refuse to realize their mistake will only pay a greater price.