Tu Haiming: Recent political stunts justify emphasis on national security
By Tu Haiming
The hype surrounding the so-called “8.31 incident” was again spotted recently on multiple social media platforms with details of how people in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and elsewhere were “mourning the dead during the incident”.
The “8.31 incident” was a rumor spread by anti-China agitators accusing the Hong Kong Police Force of “beating people to death” at the Prince Edward MTR station on Aug 31, 2019. Upon a thorough investigation by the police and media, the six individuals who had purportedly “died” in the incident were confirmed to be alive. Four years on, although the incident has been proved a fabrication, the subversive elements who fled overseas after their “black-clad” riots failed in 2019 have never missed a chance to manipulate the “8.31” lie to do a hatchet job on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Hong Kong Police Force, hoping to whip up hatred among the public and make a comeback.
Although Hong Kong has already emerged from a state of anarchy to lawfulness, the “8.31” hype serves as a reminder of the admonishment of Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Work Office under the Communist Party of China Central Committee, who cautioned that “the root causes of chaos in Hong Kong have not been eradicated, and the foundation for its lawful governance needs to be further reinforced. We must always be alert to the possible resurgence of street violence, the ‘soft resistance’ maneuvers aimed at undermining the SAR’s governance, and the potential disturbance caused by the overseas subversives”.
Let’s set the record straight on what happened on the evening of Aug 31, 2019: Police arrived at the Prince Edward MTR Station after receiving reports of scuffles between rioters and other passengers. Fifty-three people were arrested as a result, seven of whom were injured and were sent by ambulance to hospitals for treatment. After the incident, the police received no report of a missing person in relation to the incident, and no family reported a missing family member. Nonetheless, anti-China subversives chose to defy the truth and continued to propagate the “8.31” lie.
Indeed, fabricating malicious lies or resorting to scaremongering to incite hostility or hatred against the establishment has been the subversives’ stock in trade. When the HKSAR government proposed to amend the extradition law in 2019, the subversives peddled the idea that every Hong Kong resident could be sent to the Chinese mainland for trial. Their scaremongering caused widespread social panic and galvanized many people to take to the streets or join the anti-extradition campaign.
Much earlier than this, the subversives had previously maligned the co-location arrangement at the West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail as “setting a dangerous precedent of allowing mainland officers to enforce mainland laws in Hong Kong”.
Since its reunification with the motherland, Hong Kong had not implemented any serious decolonizing education, with the pernicious colonial legacy continuing to poison Hong Kong society, particularly the younger generation. Because of the different social systems between the two sides, Hong Kong residents generally were not well-informed about the situation across the boundary, with many still being haunted by memories of the “cultural revolution” (1966-76). Meanwhile, the local subversives took every opportunity to demonize the mainland. Indeed, during the anti-extradition campaign, fake news was all over the city, and even Western media exclaimed: Hong Kong had been inundated with rumors and fake news.
Now Hong Kong has put an end to social turmoil and the COVID-19 pandemic, and is making a concerted effort to revitalize the economy and improve people’s livelihoods. That is the last thing the subversives operating overseas want to see. In the absence of chaos in Hong Kong, they are worthless to their foreign patrons and would be discarded. Indeed, the overseas subversives were in sync with anti-China foreign forces in launching shenanigans against China recently.
Not long ago, some people in Hong Kong voiced their concern about the “overemphasis” on national security, suggesting that a high-profile campaign on national security could cause anxiety and scare away investors.
That Hong Kong Disciplinary Service athletes participating in the World Police and Fire Games in Canada were harassed and intimidated by overseas subversives, coupled with the subversives’ new campaign to propagate lies about the so-called “8.31 incident”, indicate overseas subversives and anti-China foreign forces have not given up on harming the HKSAR and China as a whole. This suggests the campaign to safeguard national security should continue.
In reality, economic development and improving people’s livelihoods are not mutually exclusive to safeguarding national security. The promulgation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong has not only ensured social stability and harmony in Hong Kong but also the safety and interests of businesses. Businesses that do not harbor ulterior political motives against China and the HKSAR have nothing to worry about with regards to the law, as has been the case over the past three years since its implementation in 2020. Besides, the incumbent HKSAR administration has been dedicated to improving the economy and people’s livelihoods with various initiatives — more proof that efforts to safeguard national security have done no harm to economic development.
The author is vice-chairman of the Committee on Liaison with Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Overseas Chinese of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and chairman of the Hong Kong New Era Development Thinktank.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of Bauhinia Magazine.
Source: China Daily