Stop Violence, Restore Order, and Preserve the Prosperity and Stability of Hong Kong
Ambassador Sun Gongyi Publishes a Bylined Article on L’Express
16 August 2019
For the past two months, violent demonstrations in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China have drawn great attention. Some media and friends in Mauritius are concerned about the development of the situation in Hong Kong. Preserving Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability is not only in the interest of all the Chinese people, including Hong Kong people, but is also in the interests of the international community, including Mauritius. This is precisely the objective for which unremitting efforts have been made by the Chinese Central Government and the HKSAR Government. At the same time, we have also noticed that some international media and people are disregarding the facts or making what we called “Selective Blindness”, and spreading irresponsible remarks. They are also preventing the international community to understand objectively Hong Kong’s violent and illegal activities, and they even openly interfere in China’s internal affairs. This is something China is strongly opposed to.
The 1st of July of this year was supposed to be a day of celebrations for the Hong Kong people all around the world, in commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of Hongkong’s return to motherland and the establishment of Hong Kong SAR. However, there were incidents during which extremists attacked the Hong Kong Legislative Council building in a very violent manner and willfully destroyed the internal public facilities. A particularly unacceptable fact is that even after the Hong Kong SAR government announced it would stop the revision of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, violence did not stop. Instead, the extremist militants intensified their efforts to publicly deface the national emblem, insult the national flag, and arson attacks to Hong Kong police. They even used laser guns to flash out the eyes of the policemen, attacked the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Police station, blocked Hong Kong subway, airport and public transportation. These are far beyond the scope of freedom of assembly and demonstration. Even the signs of terrorism have seriously arisen. This has not only affected the normal life of the Hongkong people, but also has openly challenged the bottom line of the “one country, two systems” principle and the authority of the central government. Which sovereign country and responsible government in the world can impassively watch this and do nothing?
The saddest thing is that the demonstrations and the violent movement which have now lasted for almost 2 months have seriously impacted Hong Kong’s economy and the people’s livelihood. According to economic data released by the Hong Kong SAR government on 5th August, in comparison with the same period of time last year, Hong Kong’s GDP has only increased by 0.6% in the second quarter of this year, which is the lowest level for the past 10 years. During the first half of this year, all Hongkong’s economic indicators have fallen down, except for a few industries. Retail business and tourism industries are on the top of the list, while merchant sales and hotel occupancy rates have also fallen sharply. The confidence of the international investors has been seriously impacted as they have publicly expressed their deep concern about the business environment in Hong Kong. The working life of the Mauritian friends who have settled down or are doing business in Hong Kong has probably been also affected to some extent by the violent demonstrations.
It must be clarified that, in the current chaos in Hong Kong, a small number of violent radicals are at the front with some kind-hearted citizens misguided and coerced in the middle, but the masterminds behind the scenes are the anti-China forces in and out of Hong Kong which have been trying to mess up Hong Kong. They are openly funding and supporting the radical activists, helping them to build strategies. Some of them even personally coordinated the subversive destruction movement of the riots. It has been revealed that the major “Hong Kong independence” activists have secretly met with diplomat of the Consulate General of one western country in Hong Kong. This affair has caused a public outcry. This kind of behavior, that is to say openly interfering in the domestic affairs of China and consciously ignoring the destruction of Hong Kong’s law and order, is nothing else than a shield which connive and support illegal crimes.
Talking about liberal democracy, I would like to point out that, since Hong Kong’s return back to motherland 22 years ago, the Chinese government has effectively implemented the policy of “One country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong” and has granted a high degree of autonomy to Hong Kong, in accordance with the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Hong Kong Basic Law. Hong Kong has maintained prosperous and stable all through these years and has even been recognized as the freest economy in the world. Hong Kong’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased from 1.37 trillion Hong Kong dollars in 1997 to 2.84 trillion Hong Kong dollars in 2018, and the GDP per capita has increased from 210,000 Hong Kong dollars in 1997 to 381,900 Hong Kong dollars in 2018. Hong Kong has also successfully resisted to the Asia financial crisis and the international financial crisis. Economic development has bloomed, and people’s lives have been drastically improved. As Hong Kong media commented, “one country, two systems” has been the greatest advantage for the development of Hong Kong. It has allowed Hong Kong to share the profits of the mainland’s development while protecting the rights and the freedom of the people of Hong Kong.
A Chinese proverb says “Nothing is more beneficial than stability, and nothing is more detrimental than chaos”. The most urgent and overriding task for now is to stop the violence, end chaos and restore order. Restraint is not weakness! The determination and strength of the Chinese Central Government and the entire Chinese people to preserve Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and maintain the country’s fundamental interests cannot be underestimated. We will do everything it takes to get Hong Kong back to the path of a prosperous future. This is also currently the most common will of the people of Hong Kong.