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Chief executive’s constructive move to restore order in HK: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2019-09-17 22:00
Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam speaks during a media session in Hong Kong, south China, Sept 5, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Vowing to push ahead with her public dialogue platform which she proposed last month, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region chief executive announced on Tuesday that the first session would be held next week. Far from being rattled by the relentless efforts of the radicals to obstruct the process, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has been persistently endeavoring to facilitate constructive dialogue among members of the public.

The demonstrations, often accompanied by violence, over the past three months have shown the political dispute plaguing Hong Kong is no longer, or was never, about the SAR government’s proposal to amend the extradition law. All along, it has been about grabbing the power to govern the SAR.

The opposition camp in Hong Kong never abandoned its policy of turning the SAR into a de facto independent political entity and hence its desperation to grab power in the SAR by exploiting the proposed extradition amendment bill in the backdrop of the Sino-US trade war.

Counting on stronger foreign support, particularly from the United States, the radicals instigated young people, frustrated by unaffordable housing prices, stagnant social upward mobility and widening wealth disparity, to take to the streets and cause mayhem.

The radicals first resorted to scaremongering, peddling ideas such as any Hong Kong resident could be extradited to the Chinese mainland if the extradition amendment bill was passed by the SAR legislature. Failing to elicit much public response, they then started fabricating anti-government rumors and spreading false stories about “police brutality”.

The opposition camp assumed that strong foreign support for the young radicals, who incidentally were holding Hong Kong residents’ overall well-being to ransom, would be enough to force the SAR government to accede to their illegal and unrealistic demands.

But they overlooked the will of the silent majority that is becoming increasingly vocal in opposing the outrageous political radicalism and indiscriminate violence unleashed by some of the demonstrators, which have not only damaged Hong Kong’s image as a model of rule of law, but also dealt a severe blow to its economy.

The silent majority, as well as some members of the opposition camp who have retained their rationality, understand the importance of holding such constructive dialogues to build a consensuses on how to end the violence and vandalism, and put Hong Kong back on the track of development. It’s time for the radicals, too, to realize the importance of taking part in the dialogue and restoring order in Hong Kong.

And as the leader of the SAR, Lam is in the best position to champion the process and cause of the dialogue.

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