Sunday, August 04, 2019

The Situation in Hong Kong--Official and Unofficial Statements of the Political Authorities

The political situation in Hong Kong has remained fluid since the protests erupted in early June over the SAR government's handling of a proposed Fugitive Offenders Ordinance.  That the Extradition Law was so clumsily put forward was a pity, and an indication that even from the perspective of Chinese Marxist-Leninism, that the SAR government has failed fundamentally to practice the Mass Line, even within the quite sui generis context of SAR governance. 

Recent actions on all sides continues to inflame  a situation that remains dynamic. Ultimately social peace and good government must be restored, sensitive to the special conditions of Hong Kong as well as of the fundamental relationship between the Hong Kong SAR and the Central government. Decision making will have to take into account not just the situation within the Hing Kong SAR, but, because the People's Republic of China is now an international global role model, the effects of the actions of governmental authorities on the standing and reputation of China in the world. That may require the avoidance of provocative statements (e.g., here, here, and here).

The central authorities issues a statement at the end of July (The Chinese Position on the Situation in Hong Kong: Chinese and English Language Versions of Statement on the State Council Information Office Published: 2019-07-29 [国务院港澳办新闻发言人介绍对香港当前局势的立场和看法 ]). But the situation continues to develop (see here, here, and here).  And additional parties have sought some level of intervention, both within and outside of the SAR, while some elements of the security forces are allowing themselves to fall into the trap of labeling all foreigners as "agents" recalling a time in Chinese history repudiated by the CCP leadership core (here, here, here).
 "A general strike aimed at bringing the city to a halt is planned for Monday. Many flight departures were shown as being cancelled on Monday and a source and media reports said this was due to aviation workers planning to strike.Late on Sunday, hundreds of masked protesters blocked major roads, spray painted traffic lights, started fires and prevented transport from entering the Cross-Harbour Tunnel linking Hong Kong island and the Kowloon peninsula." (Hong Kong government: protests are pushing city to 'extremely dangerous edge')

As the authorities contemplate their future responses, they have been kind enough to issue a new series of statements that ought to be taken seriously.  These statements are reproduced below in English  (with thanks to Flora Sapio for translations) and 以及原始的中文版本.

Cross-posting from Sanshui, Samizu, Samseol (these include additional short reflections).

人民日报 Today







Hong Kong SAR Government Police: strongly condemn the destruction of the national flag and violent conduct

People's Daily Today  [August 4, 2019]

On [August] 3 while some persons held a march in Yau Tsim Mong District, Hong Kong some extremists kept conducts such as destroying the national flag and attacking the police station. In the early morning of [August] 4, strong condemnation was expressed by a spokesperson of the Hong Kong SAR government. Violence was also sternly condemned by the Hong Kong Police. The Police announced that more than 20 people were arrested during the operations held to disperse the demonstrators.
A spokesperson of the SAR government stated that during the demonstrations, some of extremist demonstrators had violently attacked the police station, destroying vehicles, and committing arson in several places. At the same time, it is suspected that demonstrators deliberately destroyed the national flag, violating the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The government strongly condemned extremist demonstrators’ disregard for law and discipline [目无法纪], deliberate undermining of social peace to the point of challenging national sovereignty. The police will strictly enforce the law, and unlawful demonstrators who commit violence will also be subject to legal sanctions.

The Hong Kong Police said that they severely condemn the violence of extremist demonstrators and stressed that law will be strictly enforced [to punish] all illegal and violent acts. The police have the ability and determination to maintain social peace and do not tolerate any violence.

The Hong Kong Police said that from the evening of the [August] 3 to the early morning of [August] 4, demonstrators blocked the traffic lanes on both sides of the toll plaza of the Hung Hom Cross Harbour Tunnel using fences and various objects. As a result, the two sides of the tunnel were closed and the traffic was seriously obstructed. Some extremist demonstrators blockaded the Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station. The facilities outside the police station were destroyed and arson was committed in several places. Some extremists demonstrators surrounded the Wong Tai Sin Disciplined Services Quarters throwing firecrackers and a large amount of objects into the dormitory, which seriously threatened the residents' personal safety.

The Hong Kong Police said that during the operation [held] to disperse the demonstrators, more than 20 demonstrators were arrested such conduct as for illegal assembly and attacks.

人民日报 Today





Hong Kong Liaison Office’s statement:
This kind of lawlessness must be severely punished according to the law

People's Daily Today  [August 4, 2019]

On [August] 4, the head of the Liaison Office of the Central Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region issued a statement sternly condemning the illegal acts of Hong Kong extremists insulting the national flag and challenging national sovereignty.

The person in charge said that on the afternoon of August 3, a deranged extremist [
有丧心病狂的极端激进分子] in Hong Kong pulled down the flag of the People's Republic of China hanging in front of a building in Tsim Sha Tsui and threw it into the sea. This followed the July 21 siege of the Liaison Office by  extremist protesters, [who] after defacing the national emblem, once again publicly challenged the dignity of the country. The person in charge stressed national sovereignty and dignity cannot be challenged. The bottom line of the principle of "One Country, Two Systems" cannot be touched. The patriotic sentiments of all Chinese, including the vast majority of Hong Kong compatriots cannot be hurt. This kind of lawlessness must be severely punished according the to law.

The responsible person reiterated that he firmly supports the SAR Government and the Hong Kong Police in law enforcement, punishment of violent criminals in accordance with the law, and upholding of the rule of law and social stability in Hong Kong.

人民日报 Today





The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council severely condemns the insult to the flag: strict punishment according to law, without leniency

People's Daily Today  [August 4, 2019]

A spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council issued a statement on [August] 4, on several extremist demonstrators who on August 3 pulled off the national flag of the People’s Republic of China hanging in front of a building and threw it into the sea, expressing a severe condemnation of such a vile conduct.
The spokesman said that in the evening of August 3, a number of masked protesters clad in black pulled off a flag of the People's Republic of China hanging in front of a building in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong and threw it into the sea. This act seriously violated the "Law of the People’s Republic of China on the National Flag" and the "Ordinance to provide for the use and protection of the national flag and national emblem in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and for incidental matters". It flagrantly offended the dignity of the nation, the dignity of the ethnicity [民族尊严] and arbitrarily trampled on the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, greatly hurting the feelings of the entire Chinese People including Hong Kong compatriots. We strongly support the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Police Force and the judiciary’s decisive enforcement strict justice, and their bringing criminals to justice as soon as possible.

The spokesperson said that the vile acts of a very small number of extremists who insulted the national flag have once again shown that their actions have gone far beyond the scope of free expression and slipped into the abyss of crime.
This must be severely punished in accordance with the law, without leniency.


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