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People's Daily Online

Commentary: violence kidnapping HK's future should not be tolerated

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 13:32, August 31, 2019

For the past two months, the violence of radical demonstrators in Hong Kong has escalated, causing more harm to social stability. The Hong Kong police noted that nearly 900 protestors have been arrested so far, while more legal actions will be carried out in an effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. The central government firmly supports the HK SAR government, as well as the actions of the HK police against violence in accordance with the law. The central government also expressed its firm stance on safeguarding national sovereignty, security, development as well as Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, stressing the importance of stopping violence from stealing the future of Hong Kong.

It is undeniable that Hong Kong society has various demands, but the public's biggest concern at the moment is to seek stability and peace, while the most urgent task is to stop the violence and restore order. Some citizens said, "The violent protest is more terrible than the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong." They fear that once HK's reputation is destroyed, it will be hard to restore the city's former glory. Some believe that if violence and chaos continue, then "industry in Hong Kong faces bankruptcy, while people may lose their jobs." Others are concerned for their own safety, saying that they worry they will be beaten if they wear the wrong colour of clothing. Is this the Hong Kong we used to know? Should we tolerate the current chaos in Hong Kong? Shall we let violence destroy the Pearl of the Orient?

Violence is violence. To solve certain deep-rooted problems in Hong Kong, concerted efforts from all walks of life are key, but violence is never a "reasonable option." If people with different political views and demands resort to violence to gain their so-called "righteousness", Hong Kong will never be at peace. Those who scream for democracy and freedom while violently infringing on the rights of others and undermining order are actually using democracy and freedom as an excuse to harm society. Any compromise on violence will only encourage more violence. Refusal to accept violence is the bottom line of a society that respects the rule of law.

The attempts of radical protestors and opposition parties are now crystal clear. Boycotting the amendment of the extradition law was merely an excuse. When the SAR government halted the amendments, the protestors rolled out new demands of "restoring HK, initiating new revolution," challenging national sovereignty. Their ultimate goal is to paralyze the SAR Government and the Hong Kong police force, push the city into anarchy, and compete with the central government for Hong Kong's administration. For this purpose, they do not hesitate to use the young as cannon fodder.

Seeing this clearly, can we make a concession on such unreasonable, extreme, and bottomless political threats? Can there be any compromise on such a serious challenge to "one country, two systems"? The answer is an absolute no. "Any attempt to endanger national sovereignty and security, challenge the power of the central government and the authority of the Basic Law of the HKSAR or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses the red line, and is absolutely impermissible." If anybody thinks that escalating violence will force the central government to make concessions on the matter of principle, then he or she is miscalculated. If there is turmoil in Hong Kong that cannot be controlled by the SAR government, the central government will not sit idly by. In accordance with the law, the central government has enough methods and power to quickly quell any unrest.

Hong Kong will have a future only when the violence is halted. We must pay tribute to the Hong Kong Police and the public who support Hong Kong's rule of law. You have defended the foundation of Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, you have protected Hong Kong's position as an international financial, trade and shipping center. You have secured the interests of Hong Kong people and foreign investors. We must say to the young people who have been misled that violence is not the way to show your love for Hong Kong. Your youth should not be used as a political bargaining chip, and you should not be used as a scapegoat or a chess piece. We must also warn all "anti-China chaos" forces, that you must not misjudge the situation, you must not underestimate the strong will and determination of the central government and the people of the whole country to safeguard national sovereignty, security and unity, as well as Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

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