Defending "One Country, Two Systems", Safeguarding Prosperity and Stability in Hong Kong
--Remarks by Ambassador Qian Bo on the Situation in Hong Kong
2019-08-27 10:39

On  27th August, Fiji Sun published a signed article by Ambassador Qian Bo entitled Defending "One Country, Two Systems", Safeguarding Prosperity and Stability in Hong . The full text is as follows:

The cause

Early this year, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) proposed to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance to strengthen the rule of law and plug a legal loophole caused by a lack of extradition arrangements between Hong Kong and many other places, including but not limited to the Chinese mainland.

However, this legitimate act aimed at preventing Hong Kong from becoming a haven for fugitives was distorted by the opposition and some foreign forces, who claimed this would allow the SAR to send people to the Chinese mainland for trial. Due to a lack of consensus, the SAR government decided to put the work on hold.

How violence has disrupted Hong Kong over last 2 months

Since then, some radical forces have continued to use their opposition to the amendments as an excuse for various types of radical street protests. They started attacking the LegCo building, blocking roads and assaulting police officers. They stormed the offices of the Central Government in Hong Kong, insulted the national emblem and flag of China, undermined national sovereignty and dignity. Violence spread further, affecting the normal lives of more residents. Mobsters used guerrilla tactics to stage strikes, block public transport, prevent residents from going to work, damage public facilities, pushing the city to the brink. From June 9 to Aug 5, 139 police officers suffered injuries on duty.

The recent demonstrations in Hong Kong have turned into radical, violent and illegal behaviors, which have gone far beyond freedom of assembly, demonstration and protest. It is posing a severe challenge to law and order in Hong Kong, threatening the safety of life and property of the Hong Kong people, undermining the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and challenging the principled bottom line of "One Country, Two Systems".

Foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs

What is more alarming is that anti-China forces in the West have colluded with local anti-China forces who intend to mess up Hong Kong. On multiple occasions, foreign nationals were seen meeting and talking with radical protesters. Recently, leaders of "Hong Kong independence" groups secretly met with officials of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. The day after their meeting, the groups said on social media that they plan to boycott classes in September.

The Central Government and Chinese people firmly oppose interference by any foreign country or force in Hong Kong affairs under whatever excuse, and will never allow foreign forces to arbitrarily undermine China's sovereignty and security, and prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. We again urge relevant countries to immediately stop erroneous remarks and actions, stop condoning violent crime, abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, and respect China's sovereignty and security and the SAR Government's efforts of law-based governance.

What does Hong Kong need most now

Over the past 22 years since Hong Kong's return, China's Central Government has remained committed to the policies of "One Country, Two Systems", "the people of Hong Kong governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy in the SAR, in strict accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law. Hong Kong people's rights and freedoms have been fully guaranteed. Those are unquestionable facts. The rule of law, as a core value Hong Kong people are proud of and a cornerstone for the city's prosperity and stability, shall not be trampled upon, damaged or smeared by any foreign forces.

First, the priority now is to support the SAR Government in ending violence and restoring order. We hope that Hong Kong people, especially the young people who have been led astray, would have a clear understanding of the current situation in Hong Kong and cherish the sound development of Hong Kong.

Second, the violent offenders must be brought to justice in accordance with law. The Central Government of China firmly supports the SAR Government and Hong Kong police in strict, rigorous and decisive enforcement, so as to bring the offenders to justice as soon as possible and uphold the rule of law and social order in Hong Kong.

Third, foreign forces must stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs. Hong Kong is part of China; no foreign country should interfere in Hong Kong affairs. We urge those foreign forces to respect China's sovereignty and security, immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, stop interfering in China's internal affairs, and stop conniving in violent offences.

Fourth, the media must shoulder due social responsibilities. Since what happened in Hong Kong, the Western media have failed to play a credible role. There has been massive coverage on so-called "right to peaceful protest" but few reports on the violent offences by the extreme radicals such as disruption of social order, attacks on police officers and injuries to bystanders. There has not been a word about the extensive public support for the SAR Government and for restoring law and order in Hong Kong. The lawless and violent offenders who undermine rule of law are whitewashed and named "pro-democracy activists" in media reports. But the legitimate law enforcement measures of the SAR Government and the police to uphold law and order and protect life and property of the people are labeled "repression".

Such selective reporting and distortion have resulted in the prevalence of wrong information and have misled the public, especially young people in Hong Kong. It is fair to say that Western media have inescapable responsibility for the current situation in Hong Kong. We sincerely hope that Western media would reflect on the social impact of their reporting, shoulder due social responsibilities, and report the situation in Hong Kong in a just and objective manner. We hope they would stop speaking up for the extreme violent offenders, refrain from pouring oil over the flame in Hong Kong, and foster a sound environment of public opinion so that law and order could be restored in Hong Kong.

Safeguard Hong Kong

People from all walks of life in Hong Kong recently held peaceful assemblies themed "Safeguard Hong Kong" to condemn the violent behaviors of the opposition that tear the society apart. Justice lies in the hearts of the people. We are confident that with the support of the Central Government of China and under the leadership of the SAR Government and Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong will bring violence to an end and restore law and order at an early date. Hong Kong, the "