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Legal experts: Talks, not violence, solution to HK impasse | Updated: 2019-08-27 16:17
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Legal experts and senior officials called on Hong Kong society to form a united front to safeguard the rule of law and to engage in dialogue that will steer the city out of its current turmoil.

The Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, the nation's leading think tank on Hong Kong affairs, organized a seminar on Saturday in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, to revisit the speech by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of the "one country, two systems" principle. It was attended by 40 experts and officials from Hong Kong, Macao and the Chinese mainland.

Here are excerpts of some experts' views:

Liu Zhaojia, vice-chairman, Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies; emeritus professor of social sciences, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. [Photo/IC]

The central government bears the utmost responsibility in safeguarding the "one country, two systems" and the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. Forcing the central government to act in Hong Kong to bring the chaos to an end will not mark the end of the "one country, two systems". On the contrary, it will show that the central government is dutifully performing its responsibility toward the country and Hong Kong, so that it’s able to maintain its firm and long-term commitment to "one country, two systems" without interference or undermined by anti-China forces both in and outside Hong Kong.

Evidence shows that many things are at stake in the current riots in Hong Kong. It is about the national sovereignty, national security and territorial integrity. It is about whether the "one country, two systems" could be fully and accurately maintained in Hong Kong. It is about relations between Hong Kong and the country. It is about who should exercise overall jurisdiction over the HKSAR. It is about the national reputation. It is about the strategic game between China and the United States. It is about the international role that Hong Kong should play. It is also about the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

Since what's at stake is about the basic principles of the "one country, two systems" and the core interests of the country, there is little room for compromise between the central government, the HKSAR government and patriotic forces and anti-China forces both in and outside of Hong Kong. Therefore, this political turmoil is fierce and time-consuming, and could only end with one side stopping or admitting defeat.

If we say the illegal Occupy Central movement in 2014 was a decisive battle between the central government and opposition forces in Hong Kong, the turmoil in 2019 is the one between China and anti-China forces both at home and aboard centering around the United States, with the battlefield being in Hong Kong.

On the surface it seems that the core protesters have no organization, no "big bosses", and lack detailed plans or resources. They claimed that their actions were spontaneous, with goals and means determined via open and "equal" discussion on social media. However, the fact that these illegal rioters fought for a long period and obviously tactfully makes it hard for us to believe that nobody recruits, buys, organizes, trains, instigates, commands them and provides generous supplies. It is also hard for us not to suspect that those behind them are the opposition forces in Hong Kong, separatists in Taiwan, the US and its Western allies.

To curb violence, the importance of Hong Kong police force is self-evident. While the central government has not intervened, it is the major force in safeguarding the "one country, two systems", maintaining order and stopping violence.

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