Liaison office of China's central gov't in HKSAR condemns extreme radicals for restarting 'burn with us' violence


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HONG KONG, May 2 (Xinhua) -- The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Saturday condemned extreme radicals for their illegal activities including holding illegal assemblies, disrupting shops and throwing petrol bombs during the International Labor Day holiday.

A spokesperson of the office said in a statement that the extreme radicals' wanton acts from inciting violent activities to threatening to plant bombs in public places will put Hong Kong's future in peril.

Since last year, under the "burn with us" mentality, rioters besieged the HKSAR government headquarters and public agencies, trashed metro stations, banks and stores, beat up tourists and residents, assaulted police officers, produced bombs, and even made terrorist threats, trampling Hong Kong's rule of law and freedom and making residents live in scare, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson denounced opposition figures and radical forces who instigated another round of violence for their personal political interests in disregard of people's livelihood and the law, while the society has yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The spokesperson pointed out that a large number of young people were involved in the months-long violent acts, many of whom were under 18 years old. A suspect, 15, was arrested Friday night for throwing petrol bombs at police vehicles. The youngsters were led astray under the instigation of some politicians, who told them "life with criminal records will be more wonderful."

How can those politicians be so hardhearted to sacrifice the future of a whole generation for their own political gains, the spokesperson said.

A mature legal system and social stability and peace is the foundation of Hong Kong's success, which, however, is being seriously jeopardized by violence, the spokesperson said.

Global confidence in Hong Kong has been seriously dented as the credit ratings of Hong Kong were downgraded and Hong Kong lost the position which it had maintained for 25 years as the freest economy in the world. Hong Kong's GDP in 2019 posted the first negative growth in 10 years and the latest jobless rate hit a 10-year high. Hong Kong's consumer confidence index also slumped to the lowest notch since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Hong Kong's universities slipped significantly in global rankings, with the University of Hong Kong down from the 10th place to the 41st place.

Weighed on by violent activities, the transport, catering, retail sales and tourism sectors suffered the most. Many stores in core business areas including Mong Kok and Central were closed.

The violence under the "burn with us" mentality is the source of the hardship of Hong Kong residents and the closures of businesses, the spokesperson said.

Some opposition politicians hyped up the so-called "yellow economic circle" in a bid to obtain more seats in the Legislative Council (LegCo) election, the spokesperson said, noting that such acts created social rifts and disrupted market order.

The spokesperson also criticized the filibustering of some opposition lawmakers which paralyzed the LegCo and left many bills concerning people's livelihood unable to be dealt with in time, affecting the benefits of millions of taxpayers, workers and the disabled.

When voting on the second round 137.5-billion-Hong Kong dollar (about 17.7 billion U.S. dollars) anti-epidemic fund launched by the HKSAR government, none of the opposition members voted in favor and they even tried to delay the passage of the budget, which includes the widely-anticipated 10,000-Hong Kong dollar subsidy for all permanent residents, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said opposition politicians have used the "burn with us" tactic to extremes, paralyzing the LegCo, destroying the economy and inciting street violence, pushing Hong Kong to a bottomless abyss and ruining Hong Kong's hope.

The spokesperson noted that a survey showed more than 70 percent of Hong Kong residents opposed the "burn with us" mentality and more than 80 percent worried about the future as violence may resume after the epidemic subsides.

It is the mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong to restore order and push Hong Kong back on track, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the office firmly supports the HKSAR government and police in bringing criminals to justice and taking effective measures to safeguard the rule of law, order, public security in Hong Kong and national security.

The spokesperson called on all people who love Hong Kong to be united and say no to violence and the "burn with us" mentality, and not to allow Hong Kong's prosperity, built on generations of hard work, to be ruined. Enditem