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Peace paramount for Hong Kong: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2019-11-27 21:08
In this Nov 20, 2019 photo, debris remains on roads leading to the closed Cross-Harbour Tunnel near the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong. [Photo/Agencies]

Fueling hopes among ordinary residents that the situation in Hong Kong may have calmed at least temporarily, the Cross-Harbour Tunnel reopened on Wednesday and search teams sweeping the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus for a second day found no rioters still holding out.

The polytechnic university campus was one of five that the rioters occupied to use as bases from which to disrupt the city, especially its transport arteries, such as the nearby Cross-Harbour Tunnel linking the Kowloon peninsula to Hong Kong Island. It became a battleground when the rioters tried to turn it into their last stronghold for a confrontation with the police. That the young rioters were encouraged by Western media and politicians shows how callous and self-serving some in the West are in pushing their anti-China agenda forward, because it is not they who bear the consequences of the illegal acts they have incited.

The university on Wednesday requested help from the government to remove "dangerous materials", including explosives, from the site, which is also littered with hazardous rotting waste and detritus from the rioters' occupation.

And it is not just the university, the Cross-Harbour Tunnel has also been left scarred by the rioters. It reportedly took about 100 hours for some 800 government employees and workers to clear and repair the tunnel.

The ringleaders organizing the disorder have been happy to let young children and youths be their foot soldiers, no matter whether that puts the youngsters at risk of arrest or puts them in harm's way. And although the results were skewed by dirty tricks and intimidation, the successful completion of the sixth District Council election on Sunday attests to the fact that people in the special administrative region do have channels other than violence to air their views, contrary to the claims of the opposition, their foreign allies and biased media outlets.

Indeed, the situation today is in sharp contrast to the 150-year history of British colonial rule in Hong Kong when there was not even a semblance of popular sentiment being listened to. It is therefore highly disingenuous for anyone, whether it be the opposition camp or Western politicians, to claim that people in Hong Kong have no other choice but to resort to violence to have their voices heard, especially when the voices they are pushing to the front are gullible young people whose future they are ready to jeopardize.

That the electorate turned out in force to vote on Sunday shows that people want the SAR government to heed their calls for it to focus on the issues that are of concern to them, but it also showed that they want peace and stability to be restored and for their children to return to their studies.

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