Cherish positive growth: Defend Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability
People’s Daily editorial, October 1, 2014
In the early hours of September 28, residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region came together as part of an illegal gathering—so-called “Occupy Central”—disrupting social order and harming Hong Kong’s economic livelihood. “Occupy Central” will have negative consequences for Hong Kong and all its people. If it continues, these consequences will be unimaginable.
During this extraordinary moment, the people of Hong Kong should unite in supporting the law of the Special Administrative Region’s government and the firm decisions of its police force, and quickly restore public order. They should act in accordance with Hong Kong Basic Law and the provisions set out in the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, in order to push for the development of a democratic system that suits the realities on the ground in Hong Kong.
“Occupy Central” has destroyed the foundations of society in Hong Kong. One of these foundations, the rule of law, is also one of Hong Kong’s core values. An extremely small number of “Occupy Central” people have, for their own self interest, ignored the law. They have incited the masses, paralyzed transportation, disrupted businesses, stirred up conflict, and interfered with the daily lives of Hong Kong people. This has gone so far as to threaten people’s safety, as well as their property. These activists ought to be held legally responsible for this unlawful behavior. Therefore, we first insist that we will resolutely support legal action taken by the government of Hong Kong to defend the Special Administrative Region’s core values and its people. We also advise that those responsible for “Occupy Central” and any other participants stop their illegal activities at once, and restore calm and order.
In Hong Kong, the channels of communication are wide open. Anyone who disagrees with the stance taken by the Standing Committee is more than welcome to use normal, sensible channels of appeal. To communicate, one ought not resort to extremes like “Occupy Central.” This is not communication, it is confrontation. By now, a small number of people in Hong Kong are insistent on resistance and provocation, and in the end they will suffer because of it.
“Occupy Central” has undermined Hong Kong’s unwavering prosperity. The vast majority of people in Hong Kong agree that economic growth and the improvement of people’s livelihoods are the most important challenges facing them today. But “Occupy Central” tosses aside economic growth and people’s wellbeing, and does immediate damage. It’s not fair that Hong Kong’s stock market tumbles day after day, with financial institutions being forced to temporarily shut down some operations. Many organizations have also cancelled trade and social events. The traffic and safety situation now in Hong Kong has led schools to close, even leading to the cancellation of the much-anticipated National Day fireworks. “Occupy Central” has shamed Hong Kong. If it continues, it will undoubtedly damage Hong Kong’s reputation as a hub of international business, directly harming the lives of everyday people.
“Occupy Central” will obstruct Hong Kong’s smooth transition to democracy. The Standing Committee’s August 31 decision on the general election of the Special Administrative Region’s chief executive is based on the provisions of the basic law, and was made with full awareness of the views of all the people of Hong Kong. It was made in accordance with the realities on the ground in Hong Kong, and is favorable to upholding its sovereignty, safety, economic growth, and long-term prosperity. It has unshakable legal status and validity. What the “Occupy Central” activists have done is to harm such legal foundations, impeding the way to the original goal of universal suffrage by 2017.
We hope all people in Hong Kong treasure and defend this favorable phase of stability and growth, act in accordance with basic law and the Standing Committee’s decision, behave reasonably and pragmatically, come to a common understanding, and join together in promoting a transition to democracy that suits the realities on the ground in Hong Kong.