Ambassador Li Chao published a signed article entitled Violence Goes Nowhere in Hong Kong on Estonian News Paper Postimees
2019/09/03

On August 23, the Chinese ambassador to Estonia H.E. Mr. Li Chao published a signed article entitled "Messing up Hong Kong with Violence Goes Nowhere" on Estonian newspaper Postimees online to elaborate the cause and practical significance of the "amendment bill" in Hong Kong and expose the ill-intention of the foreign forces who backed up the Hong Kong radicals. By explaining the development achievement Hong Kong had achieved after its return to Motherland, Ambassador reiterated Chinese Government's resolution of implementing "One Country, Two systems" and believed that Hong Kong would have an even brighter future under the support of China's Central Government.

Here is the English text:

Violence Goes Nowhere in Hong Kong

Since June related to the Hong Kong SAR Government's attempt to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance, a number of large demonstrations and violent protests have broken out, drawing attentions from the international community. In order to help Estonian people better understand the current situation in Hong Kong, let me offer you a relevant talk.

In February 2018, a pair of lovers from Hong Kong traveled to Taiwan. During their trip, the girl was killed by the man because of their personal conflicts. After the man returned to Hong Kong, he cannot be prosecuted for murdering because Taiwan is a different customs border region. Hong Kong has no arrangements with Taiwan, Macao and mainland China to deliver fugitives, which makes the criminal suspect still at large. In order to improve the existing legal system, fight against crimes and bring justice to enforcement, the Hong Kong SAR Government proposed the amendments. This is not the first time for the Hong Kong SAR Government to make this proposal, since the existing legal loopholes have resulted in judicial controversies and even undermined the justice. Regrettably, many people of those who are against the amendments actually do not know the content of the amendments. They are afraid that the amendments will do harm to the freedom and security of Hong Kong. In fact, the amendments only aimed to improve the legal system other than to affect the freedom and security of Hong Kong. With safeguard clause, the amendments will not make it easier to deliver criminals from Hong Kong to mainland China. Criminals not included in the internationally recognized 37 offences such as those related to religion, press, speech and politics are not to be delivered. To realize the delivery, the crime must be recognized by both Hong Kong and its counterpart. In conclusion, the amendments will not harm the freedom and legal rights of Hong Kong people. It is not surprising for some people to hold different opinions on the amendments and to express their own wishes. However, some people with ulterior motives have made use of the Hong Kong citizens' insufficient knowledge of amendments and their unnecessary worries and started to organize so-called demonstrations and strikes. They spread and stirred up the people's resentment. Some radical demonstrators deliberately destroyed public property and created violent incidents under the term of "democracy" and "human rights". No doubts these acts are absolutely breaching Hong Kong's rule of law, seriously damaging its economy and international image. On June 15, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR Carrie Lam announced the suspension of the amendments. However, some radical demonstrators did not stop. Instead, they became more violent and lawless. They smashed their way into the Legislative Building (Parliament) and the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR with iron sticks, wantonly vandalized public facilities, obstructed public traffic. They are even found illegally keeping destructive tools and offensive weapons. They attacked the police in lethal means and even bit an officer's finger off. Some of them threw Molotov cocktail to burn the police. They tarnished the national emblems and national flags, shouting "Hong Kong independence". The parade completely exceeded the format of peaceful demonstration. Apparently, their acts are better-prepared, well-trained and violent. They are not expressing their views about the amendments, but barely resorting to illegal acts. No country under the rule of law would tolerate atrocities of this kind. Any words and deeds that taint the Hong Kong police in maintaining social order in accordance with the law should not be indulged.

The destiny of Hong Kong has always been closely connected with that of its motherland. Since modern times, due to the corrupted Qing dynasty, China was weak and incompetent. Chinese nation was plunged into deep suffering. In 1842, the invasion of British expeditionary army forced China to cede the island of Hong Kong to Britain. In 1898, China was forced again to lease the New Territories together with its adjacent islets to Britain for 99 years. It was not until the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 that the Chinese people truly stood up and blazed a right path of development. Thanks to the four decades of dedicated efforts since the implementation of the reform and opening-up policy in the late 1970s, China has entered a new era. At a time when China was implementing the policy of reform and opening-up, Mr. Deng Xiaoping put forward the great vision of "One Country, Two Systems". It guided China's diplomatic negotiations with the United Kingdom and led to the successful resolution of the Hong Kong issue which was left over by history. After more than 150 years of British colonial rule, Hong Kong was handed back to China and became Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. Since its return to the motherland 22 years ago, Hong Kong has maintained prosperity and stability. Its GDP reached 360 billion US dollars in 2018, which is more than 2 times of that in 1996. Hong Kong's position as the center of international finance, trade and shipment has been further solid and has been named one of the world's freest economies and most internationally competitive regions for many years. The Hong Kong Rule of Law Index ranks among the best in the world. The principle of "one country, two systems," executive-led governing and regional constitution of autonomy have made universally recognized achievements. These are considered the best institutional arrangement for maintaining Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability. Facing the recent chaos, the citizens in Hong Kong are heartbroken and calling out "Hong Kong should not be chaotic like this anymore!" Peace pursuing is the current mainstream of public opinion in Hong Kong. "One country, two systems" is an integrated concept. "One country" is the fundamental precondition of "two systems." Discussing about "two systems" while putting aside "one country",it is challenging China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Certainly it will also harm the fundamental interests of the Hong Kong SAR. The violent behaviors of the radicals have already crossed the bottom-line of a civilized society. They also crossed the line of peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression. They gravely trampled on Hong Kong's rule of law, threatened local community safety and property and violated the preliminary principle of "one country, two systems". At this sensitive moment, a foreign country consular official in Hong Kong met with the leader of anti-China chaos, meaning an encouragement to the violence. It rudely interfered in China's internal affairs and grossly violate the basic norms of international law and international relations.

Organizers and supporters of the violent acts brazenly back up the radicals, guide and fund them in public and private. Their purpose is nothing more than trying to mess up Hong Kong and denying "one country, two systems." Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. The Chinese government will never allow any external forces to intervene in Hong Kong affairs and undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

The Chinese government will continue to unswervingly implement the "one country, two systems" policy, fully support the HK SAR executive-led governance and the Hong Kong communities in dealing with difficulties and challenges so as to safeguard social stability, economic development and the improvement of people's livelihood in Hong Kong. With the start of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed railway network, the serving of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and thedevelopment of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hong Kong will be involved more deeply in the Belt and Road Construction. With the full support of the Chinese central government, I believe that Hong Kong will have a brighter future.

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