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Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 01:58
Tung: Desecration of national flags hurts feelings of 1.4b people
By China Daily
Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 01:58 By China Daily

HONG KONG - Radical protesters’ blatant desecration of national flags has seriously hurt the feelings of 1.4 billion Chinese people.

Tung Chee-hwa, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks on Monday in a 618-word open letter in Chinese.

The first Hong Kong chief executive expressed his “extreme anger, sadness, and exceeding worries” about seeing the city being pushed to the verge of danger by the prolonged political unrest.

These acts not only violated the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance, but were also open provocations to national dignity, and reckless challenges to the bottom line of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.

Tung Chee-hwa, Vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference

A small number of “radical rioters” have abused the city’s tolerance in their attempt to challenge the rule of law and paralyze the special administrative region government by committing illegal acts such as blocking roads, committing arson, and attacking people, Tung said.

Rioters have stained, stamped on, and burned national flags on several occasions during their anti-government protests that have plagued the city for over three months.

During the latest protests that turned radical over the weekend, police arrested a 13-year-old girl for burning a national flag in Tuen Mun. Some protesters also desecrated a national flag near a shopping mall in Sha Tin, stomping on it, smearing it, and throwing it into a trash can before tossing it into a river.

“These acts not only violated the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance, but were also open provocations to national dignity, and reckless challenges to the bottom line of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” Tung said. “They have seriously hurt the feelings of the nation’s 1.4 billion people!”

ALSO READ: Desecration of national flag condemned

These illegal acts also drew condemnation from the central government's top representative body in Hong Kong. "These acts offended the State and national dignity, wantonly trampled on the bottom line of 'one country, two systems', and greatly hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots," said the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR in a statement.

This must be severely punished in accordance with the law, a liaison office spokesman said, while voicing support to the HKSAR government and the police to enforce the law decisively and bring offenders to justice as soon as possible.

The spokesman then called on the people of Hong Kong to uncover the nature of the violent protests, firmly uphold the principle of "one country, two systems" and the dignity of the country.

Noting that many people who resorted to violence are from the younger generation, Tung said it's sad that they were incited and became pawns of people with ulterior political motives. What's more, the young people have to bear the legal consequences, Tung added.

Furthermore, Tung said he worries the series of violent protests will not only ruin the youths’ personal development, but might even doom the future of all 7 million Hong Kong people.

If the violence keeps escalating and spreading in Hong Kong, and the city continues to condone more violence, the future of  “one country, two systems” will be in doubt, he said.

READ MORE: Weekend's violence, vandalism widely condemned

“I sincerely hope all that truly care about Hong Kong could have a deeper understanding of the current crisis,” Tung said.

Moreover, Tung said he hopes people can be rational, speak out firmly against violence, and support the SAR government and the police force in taking actions to safeguard the rule of law and restore law and order.

Education is also vital, he said, calling for the Hong Kong government and society to understand the importance of national education after peace is restored in the city.

"This is to enhance the younger generation’s understanding of the country, and cultivate them into an important force to safeguard “one country, two systems”, Tung said.


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