Xi sends wake-up call to SAR's deluded fanatics
The illusion that foreign intervention and support would pressure the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government into acceding to their political demands has been the main driving force of the months-long violent campaign initiated by the opposition camp. But President Xi Jinping's recent remarks on the social unrest in the SAR should have left the protagonists of the ugly saga — including the rioters, the masterminds behind the scenes, and radical members of the opposition bloc — no more room to indulge in their illusion.
Xi categorically conveyed the central authorities' steadfast support for the SAR government, including the police and the judiciary, to quell violence in accordance with the law and uphold the rule of law
Last week, on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Brasilia while commenting on the ongoing social unrest in the SAR, Xi sent out a strong and unequivocal warning message to the agitators: Beijing will never allow them to get their way, no matter what. By emphasizing that ending violence and chaos is the "top priority" for the SAR government, Xi made it unmistakably clear that Beijing is determined to safeguard "one country, two systems", and will not sit on its hands watching the destruction of the SAR by the rioters and schemers.
Indeed, no self-respecting sovereignty would allow its national interests to be so infringed. The months-long social unrest orchestrated by the opposition camp and executed by the radicals with support from foreign forces has not only severely undermined the rule of law, public order and prosperity of Hong Kong, but is also threatening the national sovereignty, security and development interests of China.
Wanton violence has become the daily norm ever since the "Extradition Bill Incident" morphed into a subversive riot in June. Ample footage shows how the rioters indiscriminately attacked ordinary citizens for their different views or mere expression of patriotism, blatantly infringing their freedom of expression. The rioters have repeatedly blocked major thoroughfares, paralyzing traffic and depriving citizens of their right to go on with their lives. The rioters also turned university campuses into fortresses of terrorist activities, where they manufactured gasoline bombs and other lethal weapons for use against the police force as well as ordinary citizens. None of these crimes is tolerated in any civilized society in the world, and yet they were repeatedly done in Hong Kong. Such violent rampages must be ended without any delay, lest the "Pearl of the Orient" vanishes forever.
Xi categorically conveyed the central authorities' steadfast support for the SAR government, including the police and the judiciary, to quell violence in accordance with the law and uphold the rule of law. This comes as a great reassurance to not only the SAR government — particularly the brave and hardworking police — but also to the law-abiding citizens who are disgusted by the lawlessness of the mobs. Xi's affirmation sends a clear message that the central government has got their back in combatting the agitators who are determined to wage war on our society. It also serves as an impetus for the SAR government to take more-forceful actions to diffuse the current political crisis, which is threatening to tear the city apart.
Xi reiterated the central government's determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests to uphold "one country, two systems" and to foil foreign intervention in Hong Kong's internal affairs. This was a clear warning to foreign schemers who have been plotting a "color revolution" in Hong Kong.
Since the illegal "Occupy Central" campaign in 2014, foreign forces who are hostile to China have been colluding with their proxies in Hong Kong to launch a "color revolution" in Hong Kong, with the intention of helping their proxies seize the SAR's governing power. Key figures of the opposition camp, such as Anson Chan Fang On-sang, Martin Lee Chu-ming and Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, have frequented Washington over the past several months to invite foreign intervention in Hong Kong affairs, particularly courting support for the current anti-government campaign. As the anti-extradition bill campaign escalated to violent rampages, separatist Joshua Wong Chi-fung and his fellows also spared no effort to court US intervention and support, including lobbying for passage in the US Congress of the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. All these developments are merely part of the evidence on how the separatists are conspiring with foreign forces to launch one campaign after another to snatch the governing power in the SAR in their attempt to turn it into a bridgehead to subvert China. But their attempt will never succeed, as Xi has just reminded them. By delivering Beijing's messages in an occasion that was under the international spotlight, Xi has no doubt sent out the clearest warning to all agitators, both local and foreign.
The author is a current affairs commentator.