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Thursday, November 21, 2019, 01:56
HK’s rebirth to follow an end to rampant violence
By Zhou Bajun
Thursday, November 21, 2019, 01:56 By Zhou Bajun

In just 10 days, President Xi Jinping delivered two important messages on the riots that currently plague the HKSAR: one on Nov 4, when he advised Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai; and the other on Nov 14, on the sidelines of the 11th BRICS Summit. The most prominent difference between the two messages is an amendment to his wording, from “ending violence and chaos and restoring order remain the most important tasks for Hong Kong”, to “the most pressing task for Hong Kong at present is to bring violence and chaos to an end and restore order.”

While “most pressing” also means “most important”, it emphasized the urgency that allows no delay in ending violence and chaos and restoring order, for the reason that riots induced by the “black revolution” had taken a turn for the worse in just 10 days. During this period, the Chinese University of Hong Kong was turned into a “base for revolt”, while Baptist University, Polytechnic University, City University and the University of Hong Kong were either occupied or controlled by mobs who paralyzed the Tolo Highway and the Cross Harbour Tunnel, the two major thoroughfares in the city. The East Rail Line, Kwun Tong Line and Tsuen Wan Line once were brought to a standstill. Meanwhile, schools were suspended for a number of days, and universities were forced to either terminate the current semester or substitute lectures with online tutorials. Exchange students from both the mainland and abroad had to return to their hometowns. Moreover, a man who held a different political view from the mobs was set on fire and suffered severe burns. Terrorism arising from the “black revolution” has now rendered Hong Kong an unsafe city.

In my opinion, Xi not only affirms that quenching violence and restoring order in Hong Kong falls under China’s internal affairs, but also regards it as crucial to the country’s effort to facilitate reform in the global governing system and to build a community of a shared future for mankind

Xi was greatly focused on Hong Kong although he was miles away attending important international conferences. Addressing the rapidly deteriorating situation in Hong Kong, he said, “The continuous radical violent activities in Hong Kong have seriously trampled on the rule of law and social order, seriously disturbed Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, and seriously challenged the ‘one country, two systems’ bottom line”.

A few years ago, Xi predicted that the global political landscape was undergoing huge changes rarely seen in a century. He is indeed prescient. We now know that Sino-US relations are at the core of the changes. Taking advantage of the anti-extradition-bill campaign, Washington mobilized the anti-China and anti-communist forces in Hong Kong to launch a “black revolution”. With support from the United Kingdom, the US is taking advantage of the political, economic and cultural influences the two countries have cultivated in Hong Kong over the years in an attempt to seize the HKSAR’s governing power and subsequently transform it into an independent political entity.

Major Western powers generally stand with Britain and America in this rivalry, with the mainstream media in these countries quickly expressing sympathy for and endorsement of the rioters, and their governments indiscriminately appealing for an end to violence from “all parties”, or calling for restraint from Beijing. In particular, they champion the validity of the Sino-British Joint Declaration to facilitate the UK’s continued intervention in Hong Kong affairs.

Non-Western countries are taking China’s side. On Sept 23, Rashid Alimov, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, urged foreign powers to abandon any attempt that might worsen the situation in Hong Kong and stop creating obstacles that would hinder the restoration of order and stability in the city.

In October, governments and politicians from neighboring countries, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Cambodia, Laos, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines and other ASEAN countries, not only expressed their support for the Chinese government’s position and policies on Hong Kong, but also voiced their opposition to foreign meddling in China’s internal affairs.

At the BRICS Summit, Xi reiterated that “The Chinese government has unswerving determination to protect national sovereignty, security and development interests, implement the ‘one country, two systems’ policy, and oppose any external force interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs.” In my opinion, Xi not only affirms that quenching violence and restoring order in Hong Kong falls under China’s internal affairs, but also regards it as crucial to the country’s effort to facilitate reform in the global governing system and to build a community of a shared future for mankind.

From the viewpoint of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and building a community of a shared future for mankind, although Hong Kong, the “Pearl of the Orient”, has been subject to the rampage of the “black revolution” for almost half a year, we still believe that, as mentioned by Xi, the country and 1.4 billion mainland compatriots have our backs. This, together with China-friendly countries’ and their citizens’ understanding of the Chinese people’s determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and unity, compounded with the aspiration of Hong Kong residents to make a better Hong Kong, the city will surely rise from the proverbial ashes.

The author is a senior research fellow of China Everbright Holdings.

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