Stop violence and chaos, restore order and safeguard the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong
By Mr. Yang Zhaohui, Charge’d Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Tonga
Recently, some Tongan friends asked me about the unrest in Hong Kong and expressed their concerns. In order to make more friends understand the whole story, I would like to brief you on the situation and my views.
In February 2018, a Hong Kong man who killed his girlfriend in Taiwan fled back to Hong Kong. The lack of an extradition agreement between Hong Kong and Taiwan prevented him from being extradited to Taiwan to be tried. In February 2019, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (hereinafter referred to as as HKSAR) government launched amendment procedure to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance. By doing this, the HKSAR government hopes to cooperate with China’s mainland, Macao and Taiwan in transferring criminal suspects and fugitives through special arrangements, which will help to deal with individual cases and closing the loopholes in the legal system and enable Hong Kong to work with mainland China, Macao and Taiwan to jointly combat crimes. However, this reasonable and legal action was maliciously smeared by the Hong Kong opposition and a few external forces as “sending Hong Kong people to the mainland for trial” and thereby creat chaos in Hong Kong. On June 15, the HKSAR government announced the suspension of the amendments to the ordinances in order to better listen to public opinions. But some forces with ulterior motives continue to create turmoil, trying to fish in troubled water
Over the past theree months, the radical violent activists have continued to instill demonstration and carry out violent and illegal activities in different places in Hongkong to achieve their political goal, with the instigation and support of outside anti-China forces. They stormed Hong Kong's Legislative Council, government headquarters and police headquarters, besieged the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, defaced the national emblem of the People's Republic of China, insulted the national flag, organized an illegal rally called “Millions to jammed the airport”and vandalized public transport facilities. Emboldened, they have intensified their attacks on innocent citizens and dissidents, creating a series of outrageous crimes. They even malicious reveal to the public the police and their relatives and friends’ personal privacy, making threats to them. Their actions have gone far beyond normal rallies, have evolved into illegal acts of violence, posing serious challenge to the rule of law and social order in Hong Kong, a serious threat to Hong Kong people life and property safety, causing serious damage to Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, and severely touching the bottom line of the principle of “One Country, Two Systems ”. The acts of these troublemakers in Hong Kong constitute violent crimes in any country, any region or any legal system. They are literally thugs.
Some outside forces openly incite and support the violent acts and independence slogans of radical rioters and openly interfere in Hong Kong affairs. According to media reports, some external forces, led by the United States, openly provided long-term funding to the main leaders of the violence and the leaders of Hong Kong independence organizations, and acted as the mastermind through the consulate general in Hong Kong. Their government and media turn a blind eye to the extreme violence taking place in Hong Kong, but glorify the thugs with slogans of freedom and democracy, and individual politicians even claim that the violence in Hong Kong is “a beautiful sight”. On September 25, the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate and House of Commons reviewed and approved the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which, regardless of facts, confuses black and white, blatantly stands up for radical forces and violent elements in Hong Kong and grossly interferes in China's internal affairs.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of all parties, the situation in Hong Kong is undergoing some positive changes. More and more people in Hong Kong have come to realize that the situation surrounding the amendment of the ordinances has gone completely wrong. To stop violence and unrest, to restore order has become the broad consensus and strong appeal of all sectors of Hong Kong society. Representatives from all walks of life and various associations in Hong Kong have made statements, published advertisements, published talks and through other forms to jointly condemn violent and illegal acts and support the police in enforcing the law strictly. In response to public opinion, chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor and the HKSAR government recently put forward and are actively implementing the four actions (include the formal withdrawal of the amendment to the fugitive offenders ordinance; give full support for the work of the supervisory commission; From September, the chief executive and all departmental secretaries will go into the community to engage in direct dialogue with the public; inviting community leaders, experts and scholars to study and explore deep social problems), which have received general understanding and support from the Hong Kong community. With fewer and fewer people taking part in illegal rallies and marches, more and more Hong Kong citizens have come out to say no to violence and take action to fight it.
Since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland 22 years ago, the Chinese central government has firmly implemented the policies of “one country, two systems”, “Hongkong people administering Hong Kong” and “a high degree of autonomy for the Hong Kong special administrative region”. Anyone without bias would conclude that the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong are fully protected in accordance with the law. The future and destiny of Hong Kong must and can only be in the hands of all the Chinese people, including the Hong Kong compatriots. The rule of law is a core value that makes Hongkong people feel proud of and it is the cornerstone of Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. No one should undermine the rule of law, nor should any external forces destroy and defame it. Practice has fully proven that “One Country, Two Systems” is the best regime to maintain the long term stability and prosperity in Hong Kong. This policy shall never change or waver. The central government firmly supports Chief Executive Carrie Lam in leading the SAR government in law-based administration, firmly supports Hong Kong Police to enforce the law in a strict manner, firmly supports the restoration of rule of law and stability in Hong Kong, firmly supports Hong Kong in maintaining prosperity and development.
Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong, and Hong Kong affairs are purely internal affairs of China. We shall never tolerate any interference by any foreign government, foreign forces, foreign organizations or individuals. Safeguarding the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong serves the common interest of the international community. The Chinese side strongly urge relevant countries to have a clear understanding of the current situation, abide by international law and basic principles of international relations, respect the sovereignty of China, respect the HKSAR government’s governance in accordance with the law, and immediately stop the wrong words and deeds undermining the stability and prosperity in Hong Kong. In the meantime, we call on international community to see the true face of these radical violent protesters, actively voice against violence, uphold rule of law, and support the restoration of order in Hong Kong with real actions. We firmly believe that with the strong support of the central government and under the effective leadership of HKSAR and Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong will soon stop violence and chaos, restore order and regain its charm and luster as the “Pearl of the Orient”.