The Chinese national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region fly above the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, China, Aug 5, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
The rioters, who rampaged through Hong Kong's streets, terrorized and beat up innocent passersby and vandalized property on Sunday, should take the central government's warnings seriously.
In condemning the illegal assemblies instigated by members of the opposition camp and the violent rampage perpetrated by the rioters under the excuse of opposing the national security legislation for the special administrative region, a spokesperson for the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region warned that those who insist on treading the wrong path will definitely feel the full weight of the law.
The wanton acts of violence instigated by opposition figures and radical elements colluding with foreign forces prove how imperative and urgent it is to introduce national security legislation for Hong Kong, said the spokesperson.
It is naïve and delusional for these political zealots and their foreign backers to believe they can force the central government to back down. They should not underestimate the country's determination to uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests, and the central government's resolve to safeguard Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.
Nor should they count on US intervention, particularly Washington's threat of depriving the city's status as a separate customs territory.
Hong Kong enjoys its separate customs territory status by virtue of the World Trade Organization's recognition as well as relevant provisions in the Basic Law. This internationally recognized status benefits not only the city but also trade partners and investors, including those from the United States. It is not granted as a "favor" by any particular country nor can it be arbitrarily invalidated by a certain country.
Those extreme radicals and their foreign sponsors calling for "Hong Kong independence" are trying to create the impression that Hong Kong's autonomy has been eroded and it no longer enjoys the autonomy that has enabled the continuation of its status as a separate customs territory. But except for matters concerning foreign affairs and national defense which are naturally the responsibilities of the central government, Hong Kong exercises a high degree of autonomy and enjoys executive, legislative and independent judicial powers, including the power of final adjudication.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Tuesday that Beijing's proposed national security laws will not trample on the city's rights and freedoms, and she called on people to wait and see the details of the legislation. "The best thing is to see the legislation in front of us and to understand why at this point in time Hong Kong needs this piece of legislation," she said.
The fresh round of violence and the rise of terrorism in the SAR demonstrate why Hong Kong needs the legislation. The sooner the political zealots accept the political reality and stop their futile attempts to foster a color revolution in Hong Kong, the better.