HK fed up with ‘black ter­ror’

Ur­gent need to end chaos, re­store or­der: of­fi­cial

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

The on­go­ing mas­sive vi­o­lent protests across Hong Kong are caus­ing pub­lic fear, and the root of that fear did not come from the al­ready-sus­pended ex­tra­di­tion bill or from un­der­staffed po­lice, but from vi­o­lent black-clad pro­test­ers who at­tack the city from all an­gles.

Such rad­i­cal pro­test­ers would at­tack a passerby sim­ply be­cause he or she ques­tioned their method of ex­press­ing their opin­ions as un­law­ful and for dis­turb­ing peo­ple’s lives.

The passerby would then be sur­rounded by the black-clad pro­test­ers in masks, be­ing ver­bally and phys­i­cally as­saulted by those who claim to be peace­fully fight­ing for the fu­ture of Hong Kong.

“This has be­come ex­actly black ter­ror now,” Ho Kaim­ing, a law­maker who works for the Kwun Tong dis­trict coun­cil, told the Global Times.

Al­most ev­ery demon­stra­tion, in the name of protest and against the anti-ex­tra­di­tion bill, has turned into vi­o­lent clashes in the past two months.

Rad­i­cal pro­test­ers stormed and van­dal­ized Hong Kong’s Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil on July 1. Dur­ing a July 14 clash with the po­lice in Sha Tin, one pro­tester even bit off the

fin­ger of a po­lice of­fi­cer.

Then they stormed the Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment in Hong Kong on July 21, des­e­crated the na­tional em­blem and con­fronted the po­lice.

Dozens of big and small clashes have oc­curred in dif­fer­ent dis­tricts of the city since June 12.

Anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers launched city­wide strikes on Mon­day and groups of rad­i­cal ri­ot­ers at­tacked po­lice sta­tions and res­i­den­tial ar­eas in dis­tricts such as Sha Tin, Tai Po, Wong Tai Sin and Tsuen Wan.

Some ex­treme pro­test­ers re­moved the Chi­nese na­tional flag from its pole and threw it into Vic­to­ria Har­bour, a move that tar­nished the coun­try’s dig­nity.

Rad­i­cal pro­test­ers, who dis­tin­guish them­selves by wear­ing black shirts, suit­ing up in hel­mets and masks and are armed with metal rods, have kept at­tack­ing po­lice of­fi­cers.

They have ex­posed the pri­vate in­for­ma­tion of the fam­ily mem­bers of po­lice of­fi­cers and be­sieged po­lice res­i­den­tial ar­eas, shined lasers at their dor­mi­tory build­ings and sprayed in­sults on the wall.

“By tar­get­ing or­di­nary in­hab­i­tants, they are de­stroy­ing the city,” a mid­dle-aged wo­man liv­ing in Wong Tai Sin told the Global Times.

She harshly crit­i­cized the black-clad pro­test­ers as “cock­roaches” who de­stroy so­cial or­der by block­ing trans­port, break­ing pub­lic prop­erty and beat­ing or­di­nary peo­ple who do not agree with them.

“They are law­less, aim­ing at lead­ing Hong Kong so­ci­ety to­ward anar­chy,” said Lee Wai Lok, who lives in the same area.

The city is now “full of bul­ly­ing and mal­treat­ment,” said Hong Kong Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at a press con­fer­ence on Mon­day.

Pro­test­ers who com­mit vi­o­lence and van­dal­ize res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties are now se­ri­ously af­fect­ing the lives of or­di­nary Hong Kong peo­ple, Peng Junfa, who works in Kwun Tong, told the Global Times.

“They are now putting oth­ers in dan­ger to suit their own pur­poses,” he said, not­ing that on Mon­day when pro­test­ers came to the area where he works, they blocked the roads, caus­ing trou­ble for many of his co­work­ers.

On nor­mal days around 11 pm, many peo­ple pass by busy shop­ping dis­tricts. But now, even 24-hour con­ve­nience stores are closed, law­maker Ho noted, worse than those days when the city was hit by a ty­phoon.

“When I saw them writ­ing ‘free­dom with­out fear’ on the streets, I was won­der­ing who brought such fear to Hong Kong cit­i­zens?” he said.

Ur­gency to end vi­o­lence

Wang Jiang, an as­so­ci­ate re­search fel­low at the In­sti­tute of Law, Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences in Bei­jing, called the pro­test­ers and ri­ot­ers “an­ar­chists” and their vi­o­lence a type of “black ter­ror.”

Ac­tions such as non-co­op­er­a­tion, par­a­lyz­ing so­cial func­tions, be­sieg­ing po­lice sta­tions and try­ing to hi­jack the gov­ern­ment all fall into the def­i­ni­tion of “black ter­ror,” Wang said.

The aim of these ri­ot­ers is to plunge Hong Kong into an an­ar­chic con­di­tion, he said.

Hong Kong is fac­ing the most se­vere sit­u­a­tion since its re­turn to China, said Zhang Xiaom­ing, direc­tor of the Hong Kong and Ma­cao Of­fice of the State Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day.

Zhang noted that the antiex­tra­di­tion bill protests have gone bad and have ob­vi­ous char­ac­ter­is­tics of a “color rev­o­lu­tion.” It was the first time a cen­tral gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial used the phrase “color rev­o­lu­tion” to iden­tify the re­cent in­ci­dents in Hong Kong.

The of­fice and the Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment in Hong Kong, as well as some Hong Kong proestab­lish­ment groups and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from other sec­tors, held a sym­po­sium in Shen­zhen on Wed­nes­day on the sit­u­a­tion in Hong Kong.

Wang Zhimin, direc­tor of the li­ai­son of­fice, called it a “life-and-death” bat­tle that mat­ters to the fu­ture of Hong Kong.

“There is no way back. The most ur­gent task is to stop the vi­o­lence, end the chaos and re­store or­der,” he said.

Wang be­lieved an in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple will stand up in sup­port of the re­gional gov­ern­ment and po­lice to main­tain the rule of law.

While some peo­ple hes­i­tate, com­plain or even spec­u­late, more and more peo­ple will take the ini­tia­tive to cre­ate fa­vor­able con­di­tions to turn the sit­u­a­tion around, he said.

Ju­nius Ho Kwan-yiu, a Hong Kong leg­is­la­tor whose an­ces­tors’ graves were ear­lier des­e­crated by rad­i­cal pro­test­ers, told the Global Times that Hong Kong can solve its prob­lem with the coun­try as its backup.

He called for unity among pa­tri­otic peo­ple to con­demn vi­o­lence and stressed the need to en­hance pa­tri­otic ed­u­ca­tion.

Zhang from the Hong Kong and Ma­cao Of­fice of the State Coun­cil said the cen­tral gov­ern­ment fully sup­ports the Hong Kong gov­ern­ment led by Lam and be­lieves she has the wis­dom and abil­ity to cope with the sit­u­a­tion in Hong Kong.

Those who bluntly chal­lenged the bot­tom line of “one coun­try, two sys­tems,” in­clud­ing the be­hind-the-scenes plan­ners, or­ga­niz­ers and in­struc­tors, must be held legally ac­count­able, Zhang said.

He warned “the cen­tral gov­ern­ment will not sit still” if the sit­u­a­tion spi­rals out of con­trol.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment has enough means and ca­pa­bil­i­ties to bring down all kinds of pos­si­ble chaos, Zhang said.

A sym­po­sium on Hong Kong is held in Shen­zhen on Wed­nes­day and at­tended by of­fi­cials from the Hong Kong and Ma­cao Of­fice of the State Coun­cil, the Li­ai­son Of­fice of the Cen­tral Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment in Hong Kong and pro-es­tab­lish­ment Hong Kong groups. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from other sec­tors also at­tended the sym­po­sium.

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