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Global Times

Hong Kong violence faces backlash

Global Times

By Zhao Yu and Zhang Yi in Hong Kong and Deng Xiaoci in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/15 0:03:39

Assaulting civilians 'no different from terrorism'

Violent activities carried out by radical protesters in Hong Kong are "purely Nazi" actions, observers said on Wednesday after the rioters' attack on a reporter and a mainland traveller Tuesday midnight at Hong Kong International Airport, which triggered outrage across the mainland.

Hong Kong airport authorities said Wednesday they have obtained an interim injunction from the court, forbidding anyone from deliberately or intentionally obstructing or interfering with the normal use of the airport.

The move came after the facility was paralyzed for two consecutive days by illegal assemblies, and Global Times reporter Fu Guohao was illegally seized and brutally beaten up by radical protesters around midnight on Tuesday.

The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong on Wednesday voiced indignation and condemnation over the brutal attack on two mainlanders by mobs at the airport.

Demonstrators at the airport tore off their fake masks of "peace, rationality and non-violence," after they paralysed the airport, and seriously violated travellers' legitimate rights and interests, which brought shame to Hong Kong's international reputation, the office said in a statement on its website.

The office also noted that such lawless and inhumane violent acts have gone beyond the bottom line of a civilized society, which is no different from terrorism.

In addition to strongly condemning the violent incidents on Tuesday at the Hong Kong airport, Xu Luying, spokesperson of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, said the office supports Hong Kong police to bring criminals to justice.

The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Wednesday said it severely condemns the violent acts, which are outrageous and have overstepped the bottom line of a civilized society.

The police will take relentless enforcement action to bring the persons involved to justice, it said.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association however drew a wave of criticism for an ambiguous and self-contradicting statement the association issued after a mainland reporter was illegally seized and assaulted at Hong Kong airport Tuesday night.

It criticized the violent incident in the statement. However, the Hong Kong association urged reporters from the mainland to present their press card when reporting on massive protests, to "avoid causing misunderstandings."

On Wednesday afternoon, Global Times reporters saw around 200 people protesting at the office of the association and slamming the association for its double standard, which they said seriously violates journalism ethics and has a very negative impact.

Strict law enforcement urged

A Hong Kong University professor told the Global Times that radical protesters have resorted to every possible means in pursuit of their political agenda. The incident involving a reporter is a big threat to mainlanders staying in Hong Kong. "It is purely Nazi acts," said the professor.

"The violent acts - including attacking and restraining civilians - violate criminal law," he said.

Mei Jianming, a counter-terrorism professor at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Wednesday that "the current demonstrations have turned way beyond a normal and legal one. Rather, it is now serious riots, with radical protesters disregarding the bottom line of laws."

Mei, also the chief expert at the China National Institute for Shanghai Cooperation Organization International Exchange and Judiciary Cooperation, proposed strict law enforcement by Hong Kong authorities to deal with the current situation, while the dialogue between the public and the government should be maintained to improve an understanding of the government stance.

Another counter-terrorism expert told the Global Times that besieging and attacking civilians is a breach of civil liberties and constitutes unlawful confinement.

"Such violence will further reinforce the international community's impression of Hong Kong as an uncertain and insecure place," the expert said.

The expert also noted that it was even worse when a mainland tourist passed out after being attacked and insulted in every possible way, the rioters blocked the rescue of medical personnel, which violates basic humanitarianism.

"Hong Kong's authorities should bring the rioters into justice and the rioters should shoulder their due legal responsibilities," said the expert that requested anonymity.

HK riots almost terrorism

Mei Xinyu, a current affairs commentator, told the Global Times that "the current situation in Hong Kong is becoming terrorism."

Another counter-terrorism expert in Beijing, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times that "the Hong Kong violent mobs' behavior and approaches could be considered terrorism under the country's law."

The situation has tilted further toward terrorism as recent violence carried out by the rioters have indeed built an atmosphere of fear, Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan from Nankai University in Tianjin, told the Global Times.

The rioters, especially those who plotted, organized and commanded the violence, aim to destroy Hong Kong by creating and escalating the chaos, promoting collusion between radical politicians and foreign forces, and pressuring the regional government to satisfy their unreasonable political demands, said Li.

These violent mobs and those behind them are not only the "shame of Hong Kong," but also the "cancer of Hong Kong," Li said.

To stop violence and chaos, and to restore social order, is Hong Kong's upmost and most urgent priority that would determine the future of the city and the interests and rights of its citizens, Li said.

Under China's Anti-Terrorism Law, there is a systemic responsive mechanism to deal with various terrorist incidents.

Radical protesters in Hong Kong have become increasingly dangerous over the past two months, as some of them used lethal weapons such as multi-tool pocket knives, molotov cocktails and explosives, many of which are commonly used by international terrorists. Rioters also used air grenade launcher , escalating the violence and increasing the chance of greater casualties.

Hong Kong officials condemned radical protesters for hurling a Molotov cocktail at a police officer in the Tsim Sha Tsui police station on Sunday, calling it an "act of terrorism."

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