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Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 09:22
'Two systems' does not grant freedom to ignore the law
By China Daily
Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 09:22 By China Daily

To those claiming the rioters in Hong Kong are peaceful protesters, the question is how violent do the rioters need to be for them to describe things as they really are, rather than how they try to portray them.

The US administration on Sunday once again condemned the "unjustified use of force" against the rioters in Hong Kong and called on Beijing to protect Hong Kong's "freedom".

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It is the collusion between the hardcore anti-Beijing cliques in Hong Kong and their backers that have fueled the continuous escalation of violence by the city's youth

By this it presumably means the freedom to attack police officers with bows and arrows, gasoline bombs and dangerous chemical materials stolen from the city's university labs. Freedom to attack and kill a sanitation worker while he was doing his job. Freedom to set a man on fire when he argued with some of the rioters. Freedom to brutally assault others who had the courage to question their actions. And freedom to disrupt the city's transport arteries, destroy businesses and damage people's livelihoods.

But stripped of any pretense that they are championing human rights, the freedom that the United States and others uphold in support of the rioters is the freedom to commit inhuman and criminal acts simply because they think it will cause trouble for Beijing. Or, more particularly, the Communist Party of China, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear in his remarks at Rice University on Friday.

No doubt the police action to arrest the rioters occupying the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus on Monday will be subject to similar criticism, despite the campus having been turned into an arsenal supplying lethal weapons to the rioters and the police exercising restraint.

Given the freedom the must-be-reformed judicial system in the special administrative region has given the rioters - none of the 4,491 suspects who had been detained by the police for various reasons related to illegal gathering and violence has yet been charged - it is no surprise that their antisocial aggression has intensified the longer the unrest has continued.

READ MORE: Most horrific night with the craziest rioters

That the Hong Kong High Court has overturned the ban on face masks, which had reduced the participation in illegal gatherings, will likely see a resurgence in the number of people willing to exercise their "freedom" to break the law. Freedom that has pushed the city to the brink of paralysis, pushed its economy into recession and trampled over the right of lawabiding residents to go about the daily lives without fear of attack.

It is the collusion between the hardcore anti-Beijing cliques in Hong Kong and their backers that have fueled the continuous escalation of violence by the city's youth, who they are quite happy to use as expendable pawns in their game. They hope that by escalating the violence and unrest they can provoke the SAR government into asking Beijing to respond with force, as shown by some parties' disappointment at seeing some of the soldiers of the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison only clearing the streets of debris, not the rioters - but that is a task for the SAR government.

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