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Global Times

New district councilors should cooperate with govt to end riot: former HK police chief

Global Times

By Fan Lingzhi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/25 12:39:54

District council a platform to cooperate with govt

Hong Kong's former police chief expects newly elected district councilors to cooperate with the government and police to end the riots and restore social order, saying the election result will not affect the direction of police work in ending the riots.

Tang King-shing, former police commissioner of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, told the Global Times on Monday that he respects the election results.

Final election results were confirmed 1pm Monday. Pan-democrats won 388 seats and took control of 17 of the city's 18 district councils, according to Hong Kong's Cable News Channel.

Tang said the district council's main work is focused on people's livelihood, such as traffic and health issues, while many so-called pan-democracy candidates have campaigned on political issues, which are beyond the scope of their work as district councilors.

"I am a little concerned about their purpose. Is it about politics or people's livelihood?" Tang said.

Tang said it's difficult to say at this moment if the safety situation will improve after the election.

"The district council targets livelihood, and stability is what is needed most for improving people's livelihood. Rioting is completely against livelihood," Tang said.

Tang appealed to the newly elected district councilors to properly deal with problems in their districts, and cooperate with the government and police to improve public security, and not foment violence.

"Don't try to use the district council as a platform to threaten the government," Tang said. "The district council should be a platform for cooperation with the government, not a political platform. Otherwise, they will let the voters down."

Dozens of pan-democracy district councilors-elect gathered near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) on Monday afternoon, expressing support for those on campus and demanding police "end the siege of the university," Hong Kong media reported.

Protesters have occupied the campus for a week, engaging in clashes with police. So far, around 1,000 have left the campus, with about 20 still refusing to go, according to local media.

Hong Kong lawyer Kennedy Wong Ying-ho told the Global Times on Monday that it's quite worrying that some young newly elected district councilors believed their support to rioters could bring them votes and seats at district council and their behaviors had no consequences.

"These people may create frequent frictions with the government after they take office at the district council. The lack of harmonious cooperation will ultimately make districts' livelihood projects and construction suffer," Wong said.

"These new district councilors supporting rioters at the PolyU attempted to get more political opportunities and more political benefits for themselves," Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan affairs at Nankai University in Tianjin, told the Global Times on Monday. "They don't attend to their proper duties."

Li said that behaviors of these councilors are to pour oil on the fire, intensifying the conflicts and violence of the Hong Kong society. "This election cannot reflect true and rational will of the people in Hong Kong, and what the councilors did go against solving the social problem," he added.

Tang said that the election this time was determined by political stances rather than focusing on the ability of candidates to promote district work or solve difficulties facing residents.

In the past months, some people have reversed causes and consequences and targeted government and police actions that have been distorted in the past months, asking "why disperse those protesters or why fire tear gas," Tang said.

He said that the election result will have no effect on the police who are focused on ending the riots.

"Who will do it if not the police?" he said.

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