HK's future can't be hijacked by those with ulterior motives: China Daily editorial

2019-08-06 13:24:19 Li Yan

That the acts of the radical protesters are against both the will and interests of the majority of Hong Kong people was clearly demonstrated by the scenes of ordinary citizens getting down from their stranded buses and helping to remove the barriers set up by the radicals on some of Hong Kong's major thoroughfares on Monday.

Such disruptions meant tens of thousands of Hong Kong workers were forced to stay at home; while many of those who did try to go about their daily lives as normal were trapped for hours as demonstrators prevented train doors from closing, sabotaged traffic lights and blocked major roads and tunnels in the name of their "non-cooperation movement".

But the images of Monday's transport chaos show only the tip of the iceberg of impairment the troublemakers have inflicted on Hong Kong. Indeed, their sustained acts of destruction are pushing the city to the verge of a very dangerous situation, as Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, warned in a news conference on Monday.

Weeks of violence unleashed by the radical demonstrators have hit the city's economy hard as both visitor arrivals and local consumer sentiment have sagged, denting tourism and retail sales, on which the U.S.-China trade row has already taken a toll. As a result, the IHS Markit PMI for Hong Kong in July sank to 43.8, its worst reading since March 2009, when Hong Kong's economy hit rock bottom after the global financial tsunami swept the world.

Economically, the worst may be yet to come. Hong Kong is at risk of slipping into recession, as the city's Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po warned on Monday. Having posted negative growth in the second quarter after seasonal adjustment, if the economy continues with its downswing in the third quarter, any further turbulence will only aggravate the deterioration of the economy to the detriment of residents.

But it is the wanton sabotaging of the "one country, two systems" political framework and the rule of law that poses the biggest threat to Hong Kong's long-term stability and prosperity. With some insurrectionists becoming increasingly emboldened in their challenges to the "one country, two systems" principle and national sovereignty, further subversive acts by those "operating with ulterior motives" will push the city to the brink "of a very dangerous situation", as Lam said.

It is time for all Hong Kong people who truly care for the city's future to rally behind the HKSAR government for the restoration of law and order. It is their future and that of Hong Kong that is being hijacked by these agitators.

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