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Hong Kong society cannot remain silent as the city sinks: China Daily editorial

China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-18 18:34
A large crowd of residents take part in an anti-violence rally organized by Safeguard Hong Kong at Tamar Park, Hong Kong, Aug 17, 2019. [Photo/]

Nearly half a million people gathered in Hong Kong's central business district on Saturday afternoon, calling for an immediate end to violence perpetrated by anti-government radicals under the pretense of opposing — the now dead — extradition bill. Braving suffocating summer heat and some rain, the 476,000 participants demanded stronger law enforcement action to end the violence and restore order in the special administrative region.

That the participants of Saturday's "Oppose violence, save Hong Kong" rally far outnumbered those of the previous large-scale pro-police and anti-violence rally on July 20, which saw more than 300,000 residents take part, indicates that a growing number of Hong Kong residents who oppose the violent demonstrations feel they can no longer keep silent, as the city they call home is being pushed to the brink of an abyss by political extremists and radical elements.

The previously silent majority of residents feel they can no longer remain by-standers as the city's stability and rule of law are destroyed by extremists and their foreign backers who are holding the well-being of 7.5 million Hong Kong residents to political ransom.

Indeed, no one in his or her right mind wants this international metropolitan and business hub to be brought to its knees by anarchism and terrorism. That will not only harm the immediate interests of Hong Kong people but also their future well-being, as the radical acts are taking the luster off the Pearl of the Orient as a desirable place to do business or to visit.

It is unsurprising that many business groups and leaders, both local and international, have made public statements, expressing their objection to the violence and support for the restoration of law and order in the city. The Big Four accounting firms — KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers — are among the latest who have issued statements, condemning the violent and illegal acts of demonstrators in Hong Kong and calling for the restoration of social order. They have realized keeping silent in wake of unabated violence and lawbreaking is tantamount to condoning such criminality.

There is a growing consensus within Hong Kong society that the violence and anarchism must be stopped now. Extremists who continue with their criminal acts ignore the public will at their own peril. They must be ready to face the full weight of the law.

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