A 70-year-old cleaner died Thursday night after being struck with a brick thrown by rioters during a Wednesday street clash. He was the first Hong Kong resident directly killed from street clashes since the unrest was sparked by the since-withdrawn extradition bill. A black-clad person in a mask attacked him, but Western public opinion has generally kept silent. This is in sharp contrast to the brouhaha caused by a besieged police officer shooting a mob trying to grab his gun.
Around the same time, politicians in Washington are accelerating their move to promote the tool they can use to intervene in Hong Kong affairs to be passed. The US Senate on Thursday initiated a process, known as a hotline, to speed up passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the Senate as early as next Monday. The measure allows the bill to bypass normal procedure if there is a unanimous consensus. On the same day, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, in an annual report, recommended that Congress enact legislation stating the US will suspend Hong Kong’s special trade status if the People’s Liberation Army or People’s Armed Police “engage in armed intervention in Hong Kong.”
These US moves have displayed its clear attitude: Hong Kong radical protesters can do whatever they want – kill people with bricks, set fire to or beat people who disagree with them, and throw dangerous debris from bridges – while regarding all actions taken by the governing authorities to stop violence and end chaos in accordance with the law as a crackdown on democracy and freedom.
This is the most shameless insult to and hijack of justice and morality. Democracy and freedom must be based on the rule of law. When rampage plagues Hong Kong, Washington’s support for violent protesters has become a crime against the city and its 7 million people. The US Congress wants to ruin Hong Kong’s prosperity and turn the city into a mess to drag China’s development.
Washington condones mobs’ vandalism to destroy Hong Kong and views efforts by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government as suppression on democracy and freedom. How ruthless and hypocritical it is. Politics, like poison, kills the humanity of some US politicians, making them desperate to create trouble for China at the cost of life and the future of Hong Kong people.
Nonetheless, American politicians cannot dominate the development of the Hong Kong situation. Where the city is headed depends on the attitude of the Hong Kong public and the Basic Law.
More and more Hongkongers are tired of the destruction to lives caused by violence. They cannot stand seeing their homes ruined by rioters and Western forces and have realized that Hong Kong has reached an unprecedented critical juncture. Many residents voluntarily clean up roadblocks these days, voicing their opposition to the mobs. The silent majority will not be silent any more.
The HKSAR government and police are determined to stop violence and end chaos according to law, and the central government is offering unwavering support to them. The Chinese government will firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests and resolutely oppose any intervention by external forces in Hong Kong affairs.
We call on all peace-loving and development-cherishing forces around the world to condemn Hong Kong rioters, intervention in Hong Kong affairs by countries such as the US and Britain and their support to the mobs. If the West’s interventionist acts are indulged, this will be a long-term threat to world peace and stability and constitute a common challenge to the emerging countries.
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Featured image is from Global Times