The sixth-term District Council Ordinary Election of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Sunday was the first poll held in the HKSAR after the now-withdrawn ordinance amendments concerning fugitives' transfers sparked unrest in Hong Kong.
During the past more than five months, rioters conspired with foreign forces and escalated violent acts, which resulted in political antagonism, social splits, and setbacks in the economy.
The election also fell victim. Campaigns of some patriotic candidates were seriously disrupted, and their offices were trashed and set ablaze. One candidate was injured in an attack. Harassment on patriotic candidates occurred on the voting day.
By creating the "black terror," rioters and the politicians behind them who are anti-China and want to mess up Hong Kong reaped substantial political benefits.
The most urgent task at present is still to bring the violence and chaos to an end and restore order.
To guarantee a violence-free election, the HKSAR government, the police, and patriotic people made tremendous efforts. The smooth election on Sunday has shown the common desire of Hong Kong residents for peace and order.
However, the foundation for current stability is still not firm enough. To prevent Hong Kong from slipping further and push it back on track, various sectors of the community should join hands to end violence and chaos, to restore the rule of law and rationality.
Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out the direction and guidance for Hong Kong to stop violence and restore order at the 11th BRICS summit in Brasilia, capital of Brazil. All patriotic forces in Hong Kong should be encouraged and gather more strength.
Joint efforts should be taken to firmly support the HKSAR chief executive in leading the HKSAR government to govern in accordance with the law, support the Hong Kong police in strictly enforcing the law, and support the Hong Kong judicial bodies in severely punishing the violent criminals in accordance with the law.
Despite the impacts of violence, Hong Kong still boasts unique advantages. It remains as one of the freest economies and a global financial hub, and is striving for becoming an international scientific and research center.
There are also enormous opportunities from the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Hong Kong will be able to give full play to its advantages and achieve joint development with the country.
It should be noted that Hong Kong people, especially youngsters, should have a broader vision, a longer-term goal, and a real sense of national identity to let those advantages be brought into full play.
The Hong Kong community should also correctly understand the relationship between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland under the "one country, two systems" principle, and let the two sides become an eternal community of emotions and destiny on the basis of constitutional order.
Young people in Hong Kong must avoid being misled by forces with ulterior motives and becoming "the lost generation" who go on their rampage on the street.
To linger at the edge of the cliff or kick-start a revival? The decision lies in the hands of every Hong Kong resident and depends on whether or not the right course can be taken under the "one country, two systems" principle.
After the unprecedented chaos, Hong Kong people should regain their Lion Rock Spirit and face challenges with courage and wisdom.
The voice of the majority for stability and development should be heard, and various sectors of Hong Kong should work together for a better future. As long as Hong Kong residents straighten out their thoughts and find the right direction, the dust on the Pearl of the Orient will eventually be wiped away.