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Tuesday, August 06, 2019, 17:33
Hong Kong to hold violent protesters accountable
By Zhang Zhihao and Zhang Yi
Tuesday, August 06, 2019, 17:33 By Zhang Zhihao and Zhang Yi

Black-clad protesters disrupt traffic at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel after occupying the toll plaza in Hung Hom, Hong Kong, Aug 3, 2019. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)

BEIJING — All who participated in violent and criminal activities that have recently plagued the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will be brought to justice, including behind-the-scenes masterminds and organizers, Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said Tuesday.

The spokesman for the country’s top Hong Kong affairs authority said in a news conference in Beijing that the nearly two-month demonstrations in Hong Kong have escalated to being extremely violent and shocking, with a total of 461 people being injured, including 139 police officers.

The central government has unswerving support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. The opposition's attempt to force Lam to resign is doomed to fail.

Yang Guang, 

Spokesperson, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council

The increased intensity and destructiveness of the protests were evident in the weapons and methods chosen by the small number of radicals, who had used lethal weapons such as smoke and petrol bombs, bows and arrows at police, as well as committing crimes such as arson.

“These actions have severely undermined the personal and property safety of police officers and residents of Hong Kong,” Yang said. “They have severely impacted Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, pushing it into a dangerous abyss.”

READ MORE: Lam: HK pushed to the verge of 'a dangerous situation'

Hong Kong’s GDP in the second quarter saw only a 0.6 percent year-on-year increase, with retail and tourism bearing the brunt of the downward economic pressure, according to the HKSAR government.

On Monday, Hong Kong protesters staged a strike to paralyze Hong Kong by clogging public transportation, resulting in some 250 flights being canceled, and eight metro lines suspended for over five hours, he said. A total of 18 countries and regions have issued travel safety reminders against visiting Hong Kong due to the current situation.

Protesters also removed the Chinese national flag from a flagpole in Tsim Sha Tsui and threw it into the sea, the second incident of its kind in two days. The flags have since been recovered and raised. 

The radical extremists were also severely criticised for desecrating the national flag.

ALSO READ: Condemnation grows as national flag desecrated for 2nd time

In July, protesters tore up copies of the Basic Law of the HKSAR and smeared China’s national emblem. They also broke into and vandalized Hong Kong’s Legislative Council building, spraying graffiti on the walls and raising the former colonial flag.

“These acts have seriously violated the law, blatantly offended national dignity, and challenged the bottom line of the ‘one-country, two systems’ principle,” Yang said. “These rioters are extremely arrogant and unscrupulous. What awaits them will be a heavy legal blow and an indelible shame in history.”

Xu Luying, another spokesperson at the media briefing, took note of a voluntary decision by a group of patriotic residents’ to hold an impromptu flag-raising ceremony to keep the national flag flying high against the Victoria Habour’s skyline.

Yang warned the small group of unscrupulous and violent protesters and their behind-the-scenes masterminds not to misjudge restraint for weakness

Many on the mainland showed their support for patriots on social media, Xu said. Each of 1.4 billion Chinese people is a defender of the national flag, she said.

Yang pointed out that those who stand at the front of causing Hong Kong’s current chaos are a small number of violent radicals. Other protestors are kind-hearted citizens who have been misguided and coerced to join.

The anti-China forces both in and out of Hong Kong are the masterminds that have instigated and bolstered the illegal activities of violent radicals by coordinating, directing, funding and whitewashing violent protests, Yang said. They have supported the wrongful actions by promoting views such as “civil disobedience”, “only violence can solve problems”, and the “non-cooperation movement”.

The immediate task for Hong Kong citizens is to stop the violence and chaos and bring back order, Yang said. He appealed to the HKSAR government, its juridical organs and police to safeguard the rule of law and never be soft on violent violations of the law.

“With no punishment for lawbreaking, there would be no majesty of the law,” he said. “The central government has unswerving support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. The opposition’s attempt to force her to resign is doomed to fail.”

Yang warned the small group of unscrupulous and violent protesters and their behind-the-scenes masterminds not to misjudge restraint for weakness. “Those who play with fire will perish by it. At the end of the day, they will eventually be punished.”

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