Protecting Hong Kong is both central government's determination and common aspiration of the people

By Li Xiaohua
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, June 1, 2020
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Photo taken on Aug. 5, 2019 shows China's national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) on the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, south China. [Photo/Xinhua]

Hong Kong has always been a part of a bigger Chinese story.

In 1982, when meeting with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, China's senior leader Deng Xiaoping said that if China did not take back Hong Kong in 1997, no Chinese leader or government would be able to explain to the Chinese people, or even to people of the world. "If it is not recalled, it would mean that the Chinese government today no different than that of the late-Qing Dynasty, and that Chinese leaders would be the same as Li Hongzhang," said Deng, referring to the senior minister and diplomat in the Qing Dynasty who signed the humiliating Treaty of Shimonoseki.

At midnight on July 1, 1997, when the Chinese national flag and the bauhinia flower flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) were hoisted over the handover ceremony, Hong Kong, after seeing vicissitudes in the past hundred years, officially returned to the embrace of the motherland, and the Chinese government began to resume the exercise of sovereignty over the city. This was a moment that the Chinese nation has long looked forward to. It is also a moment that will be forever recorded in world history.

Over the nearly 23 years since then, China has had many successful experiences practicing "one country, two systems," preserving the lifestyle of the Hong Kong people, just as Deng once promised that "horses will still run, stocks will still sizzle, and dancers will still dance." 

However, ever since a proposed fugitive bill sparked unrest last summer, Hong Kong has been once again struck with violence and despair. Incited by western and U.S. politicians, opposition and separatists resorted to vandalism. "If we burn, you burn with us," they said. The hostile forces both in and outside China attempted to take control of the SAR and subvert the state power.

Meanwhile, in terms of safeguarding the national security, loopholes clearly exist in Hong Kong's legal system and law enforcement mechanism. This resulted into escalating separatist activities which severely affected Hong Kong's economy and global image, as well as people's daily life there. 

As China's top legislative body, the National People's Congress (NPC) has decided to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanism for the maintenance of national security in Hong Kong. The decision brings hope for stopping the violence and chaos, as well as restoring order. "Hong Kong sees hope coming from the central government" has recently become the mainstream opinion in Hong Kong society.

An organization called the United Front Supporting National Security Legislation recently started a petition in Hong Kong to collect citizens' signatures on the internet and in the streets in support of the legislation. As of May 28, at least 1.64 million citizens signed, hoping to see a stable and prosperous city with restored social order.

On May 23, The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) launched an online survey on citizens' opinion about the national security legislation. A total 200,000 people participated in less than 14 hours, and almost 95% of them stood in favor of the legislation. DAB vice chairperson Chan Hok-fung believes this result showed citizens are tired of the violence starting last year, and they agreed that the legislation would help restore normalcy.

Real estate tycoons in Hong Kong have also supported the Hong Kong national security legislation. On May 27, Li Ka-shing, senior advisor of CK Asset Holdings Limited and CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, said that this legislation would relieve the central government's concerns about Hong Kong, hoping that a positive outlook of stability would prevail.

Just like a young person from Hong Kong said, when the slogan "if we burn, you burn with us" became a reality, all the virtues of Hong Kong could no longer exist. Over the past 23 years since Hong Kong returned to the motherland, China's hope for Hong Kong's prosperity has remained unchanged, and the mainland will always give strong support for Hong Kong's development. 

On May 28, the NPC voted overwhelmingly to approve the decision on national security legislation for the Hong Kong SAR. The move not only demonstrates the central government's political decision to save Hong Kong and safeguard national security, but also reflects the common aspiration of the general public.

Before the Hong Kong national security legislation was submitted to the NPC for review, American politicians made rather unsettling comments. U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S. was planning a strong response to China if the legislation were to be approved. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged that Hong Kong no longer had significant autonomy, and incited multi-internationals to withdraw from the city.

In response to these interference made by the U.S. in China's internal affairs, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in unequivocal terms during a regular press conference that China will take necessary countermeasures.

For the U.S. who is proficient in supporting the separatists in Hong Kong, the introduction of the Hong Kong national security legislation indicates yet another loss of an ace card in their hands to suppress China. Thus, hysterical and unfounded accusations and even desperate sanctions placed on China come as no surprise. The support from hundreds of millions of Chinese people, including Hongkongers, is the basis of the central government's determination to pass the Hong Kong national security legislation.

As an old Chinse saying goes, things will develop in the opposite direction when they become extreme. Concerning the wanton behaviors of the separatists in Hong Kong, the central government has every right and responsibility to take actions, ensuring Hong Kong's stability and its people's livelihood. The move reflects that the central government resolutely safeguards the overall interests of Hong Kong and the fundamental welfare of our compatriots.

Only in this way, will the Hong Kong chapter in the whole Chinese story not be covered with dust, and the bauhinia flower always bloom. This is the best the central government can do for the 1.4 billion Chinese people.

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