A ges­ture of goodw ill

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT -

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment will is­sue Home Re­turn Per­mits to Hong Kong politi­cians from the op­po­si­tion camp who abide by the Ba­sic Law and the “One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems” prin­ci­ple. The idea is to fa­cil­i­tate those moder­ate mem­bers of the “pan-demo­cratic” camp, whose per­mit was in­val­i­dated in the past for var­i­ous rea­sons, to visit the main­land.

Look­ing back, the “pan-democrats” do not have a track record they could re­ally be proud of. To say the least, they have not been help­ful or co­op­er­a­tive in work­ing with the ad­min­is­tra­tion and other Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil col­leagues for Hong Kong’s over­all in­ter­est. They have fo­cused too much on the po­lit­i­cal wran­gling and more or less ne­glected the liveli­hood is­sues, which are the real con­cerns of Hong Kong peo­ple.

But the cen­tral gov­ern­ment has al­ways been mag­nan­i­mous in deal­ing with the op­po­si­tion in the SAR. That Bei­jing is tak­ing the ini­tia­tive this time to ex­press a ges­ture of good­will is a dis­play of pro­found in­clu­sive­ness and will­ing­ness to com­mu­ni­cate with dif­fer­ent sec­tors of so­ci­ety in Hong Kong.

The move shows the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s clear-cut stand: It keeps an open mind to­ward those who are in pur­suit of their po­lit­i­cal goals within the frame­work of the Ba­sic Law and “One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems”, mav­er­ick as they may be. But it will show no mercy to­ward those who dare to cross the bot­tom line of “One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems” and pose a grave threat to the coun­try’s sovereignty and na­tional se­cu­rity and Hong Kong’s rule of law. There is ab­so­lutely no com­pro­mise in that re­spect.

Some of the op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers lent as­sis­tance to the two sep­a­ratist leg­is­la­tors­e­lect in­side and out­side the leg­isla­tive cham­ber be­fore the two were dis­qual­i­fied by the court. They might have naively thought they were help­ing fel­low mem­bers of the “pan-demo­cratic” camp, but ap­par­ently the duo did not see them­selves as one of them. Help­ing the sep­a­ratists is like play­ing with fire. You get burnt be­fore you know it.

If the “pan-democrats” have the wis­dom to make good use of this op­por­tu­nity to visit the main­land, and we hope they do, they will find them­selves more re­cep­tive to­ward the cen­tral au­thor­i­ties and the main­land in gen­eral af­ter see­ing how the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment has pro­gressed in leaps and bounds in the past decades. As the say­ing goes, “Dis­tance breeds con­tempt.” In­creased in­ter­ac­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion are al­ways con­ducive to forg­ing a closer re­la­tion­ship. The “pan-democrats” must not let this op­por­tu­nity slip through their fin­gers again.

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