Hong Kong society is fed up with rioters

2019-10-29 chinadaily.com.cn Editor:Jing Yuxin

Fire rages at an exit of the Mong Kong MTR Station after violent radicals went on a rampage and committed arson on Oct 27, 2019. (Photo/China Daily)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government strongly condemned the criminal acts by rioters at a number of locations in Kowloon, including arson and vandalism and the now habitual gas-bombing of police, after hardcore rioters went on a rampage again on Sunday.

But it is notable that the scale of the rioting had shrunk significantly in comparison to those on previous weekends over the past four months, with much fewer people taking part in Sunday's disturbances than previously.

The fall in the number of participants tallies with another new development: Not only were there fewer hardcore rioters, there were also fewer onlookers acting as cheerleaders and human shields for the rioters when the police arrived. It seems that more and more previously misguided people are realizing that the violence is not in Hong Kong's best interests.

The rising voice of those condemning the violence, which had previously been muted, has also played a role in taking some of the steam out of the anti-establishment campaign.

More and more Hong Kong residents fed up with the abusive behavior of the rioters are now standing up to make their voices heard as it has become evident the anarchy is propelling the city ever closer to the brink of an abyss. As the five-month mark approaches more people are joining volunteers in tearing down anti-government banners and posters in their neighborhoods, a move they had refrained from taking until very recently for fear of retaliation from the radicals.

Aside from the threat to Hong Kong's rule of law — a key pillar of the city's prosperity — another obvious reason for growing public objection to the illegal acts of rioters is the serious damage their agitational acts are doing to many people's livelihoods.

Hong Kong has already entered recession, with two consecutive quarters of negative growth. The number of tourists has fallen precipitously, with visitor numbers down 50 percent, according to the SAR's financial secretary. Unemployment in some sectors is surging, and is threatening to spread.

The ravaging of the economy by the constant riots is the main reason why the insurgency is faltering and losing whatever support it may have had among the public. It is clear that the excessive zeal of some in making their discontent known to the government is causing material distress throughout the SAR.

Those evidently acting against the well-being of a society will never succeed in attracting it to their side no matter how hard they try. It is time for the masterminds of the riots and the remaining hardcore rioters to wake up from their illusion that they speak for everyone in Hong Kong.

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