Riot­ers defy na­tional sovereignt­y

Govt bod­ies con­demn at­tack on li­ai­son of­fice in HK

Global Times US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Yang Sheng in Hong Kong and Chen Qingqing in Beijing

In sep­a­rate state­ments on Sun­day night, cen­tral gov­ern­ment bod­ies and the Hong Kong gov­ern­ment con­demned the ma­li­cious en­cir­clement and im­pact on the China cen­tral gov­ern­ment li­ai­son of­fice by rad­i­cal pro­tes­tors and their tar­nish­ing of the na­tional em­blem of China that amounted to an open chal­lenge to na­tional sovereignt­y.

On its of­fi­cial web­site on Sun­day, the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion (HKSAR) gov­ern­ment vowed to se­ri­ously deal with the be­hav­ior and pur­sue it ac­cord­ing to the law.

The state­ment said the gov­ern­ment was wor­ried that a small num­ber of rad­i­cals were in­sti­gat­ing the masses, chal­leng­ing law and dis­ci­pline and even at­tack­ing cen­tral gov­ern­ment agen­cies in Hong Kong.

This be­hav­ior posed a threat to Hong Kong law and or­der and “one coun­try, two sys­tems,” the state­ment said. “So­ci­ety will never ac­cept it,” it said.

In a sep­a­rate state­ment, the Hong Kong and Ma­cao Af­fairs Of­fice of the State Coun­cil urged Hong Kong po­lice to take rel­e­vant ac­tions in a timely man­ner, firmly sup­port the HKSAR gov­ern­ment in tak­ing all nec­es­sary mea­sures to en­sure the safety of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment agen­cies in Hong Kong, safe­guard the rule of law in Hong Kong and pun­ish crim­i­nals.

The li­ai­son of­fice of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment in HKSAR con­demns the vio

lent acts that have com­pletely ex­ceeded the scope of peace­ful demon­stra­tions, not only vi­o­lat­ing the Ba­sic Law and lo­cal laws of Hong Kong, but also se­ri­ously chal­leng­ing ‘one coun­try, two sys­tems’ as well as the bot­tom line and the cen­tral gov­ern­ments’ author­ity, the of­fice said.

The gov­ern­ments’ state­ments came as more protests evolved into vi­o­lence on Sun­day.

The protest route on Sun­day that per­mit­ted by the po­lice is from Vic­to­ria Park at Cause­way Bay to South­ern Play­ground at Wan Chai, but many pro­test­ers didn’t stop when ar­riv­ing at South­ern Play­ground, and con­tin­ued march­ing to the Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment at Sai Ying Pun to con­duct il­le­gal and rad­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.

They dam­aged sur­veil­lance cam­eras near the build­ing to cover their il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties from be­ing ex­posed.

Some threw bags of filthy wa­ter and eggs at the China na­tional em­blem at the gate of the li­ai­son of­fice, while oth­ers wrote of­fen­sive words on the walls near the build­ing.

Ap­par­ently, those pro­tes­tors knew that their be­hav­iors are il­le­gal, so they used um­brel­las and masks to cover their faces and be­sieged strange faces in the crowd and or­dered them to delete photos, to make it dif­fi­cult for col­lect­ing ev­i­dence and es­cape the pun­ish­ment of laws.

At about 8pm, the Hong Kong po­lice re­leased a state­ment say­ing that in the face of es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence it would con­duct a clear­ance mov­ing east start­ing from the western district. Po­lice ap­pealed to the pub­lic to avoid trav­el­ing to the area.

Anti-main­land po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist Joshua Wong Chi-fung also ap­peared out­side the li­ai­son of­fice and when po­lice ar­rived, he told pro­tes­tors to leave the venue and move to Cen­tral District im­me­di­ately or they would risk be­ing ar­rested.

Vi­o­lent riot­ers

The vi­o­lence and rad­i­cal be­hav­ior of pro­test­ers was widely con­demned as the riot se­ri­ously chal­lenged not only Hong Kong so­ci­ety and gov­ern­ment but also the author­ity of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment. The li­ai­son of­fice rep­re­sents the cen­tral gov­ern­ment in Hong Kong.

Le­ung Chun-ying, for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, con­demned riot­ers for tar­nish­ing the na­tional em­blem. “These scums will be se­verely pun­ished by law and dis­dained and re­jected by his­tory,” Le­ung posted on Face­book.

Throw­ing eggs at the of­fice and leav­ing graf­fiti on the wall were se­ri­ous crimes, Li Xiaob­ing, ex­pert on Hong Kong, Macau and Tai­wan, from Nankai Univer­sity in Tian­jin, told the Global Times on Sun­day.

A Hong Kong district coun­cilor de­nounced pro­test­ers for throw­ing eggs at the li­ai­son of­fice and said Hongkonger­s feel heart­bro­ken when they see such be­hav­ior.

“It’s out­ra­geous how ev­ery protest has to lead to these in­tim­i­dat­ing acts and end with vi­o­lence in an es­ca­lat­ing form,” said Nixie Lam, Tsuen Wan district coun­cilor.

Such a move­ment “that se­ri­ously in­sulted the coun­try and dam­aged the fa­cil­i­ties of the li­ai­son of­fice is al­ready chal­leng­ing na­tional se­cu­rity,” Cheung Yuen Sum, a con­vener at IDEA4HK, a Hong Kong-based think tank, told the Global Times on Sun­day.

“If the po­lice haven’t enough ca­pa­bil­ity to safe­guard the city, it is time to con­sider and plan how to let the PLA [Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army] Hong Kong Gar­ri­son pro­vide re­in­force­ment,” Cheung said.

By in­tim­i­dat­ing, hu­mil­i­at­ing and pro­vok­ing, pro­test­ers would surely not re­solve is­sues, said Lam, the district coun­cilor.

“I urge peo­ple of Hong Kong to think through: Are we go­ing to de­stroy our one and only home?” Re­build­ing

Amid the es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions in the city, Li noted that many peo­ple were fu­ri­ous about such a riot, which was hurt­ing the foun­da­tion of Hong Kong so­ci­ety and might ruin its fu­ture.

“It’s time for the so­ci­ety to ad­just , to re­build and find a way out,” Li said.

Some 316,000 peo­ple gath­ered on Satur­day at Ta­mar Park in Ad­mi­ralty in sup­port of the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion gov­ern­ment and to con­demn the vi­o­lence.

Li said the ma­jor­ity of Hongkonger­s must speak out for jus­tice so as to re­store con­fi­dence that vi­o­lence and rad­i­cal­ism will never win.

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