Observer: Violence no way to make Hong Kong safer
By Bo Lanping
People's Daily app

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Bomb disposal experts defused two home-made explosive devices that were found at Wah Yan College in Hong Kong's Wan Chai district on Monday night.

Hong Kong police said the two devices contained approximately 10kg of high explosives and shrapnel in the form of nails. Experts estimated the bombs' blast radius to be 100 meters. When Hong Kong rioters planted the bombs on campus, they broke the law and also disregarded morality and humanity. It seems that they have distanced themselves from modern civilization and embarked on the path of evolving into terrorists.

From hammering metro gates to beating police officers with iron rods, from using modified umbrellas and bricks to incendiary and acid bombs, from large self-made slingshots to home-made bombs, from smearing police stations to burning courts, from desecrating the dead to killing people, the violence by thugs has been escalating in Hong Kong, plunging the city into turmoil and putting its residents in danger. It has been half a year already. 

Incitement of and indulgence in violence have resulted in social disorder and economic recession. The perpetrators of the violence are still there, ghostly, vowing to destroy people's dreams of peace and development. Without eradicating violence, without stopping riots, how can safety be guaranteed in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill in early September. After that, people exhausted by months of protests decided to focus on solving the deeper root of the unrest, ease society’s concerns and narrow differences. However, radical demonstrators were not satisfied with constructive measures or good will. They decided to continue the black terror and violence in Hong Kong society.

They not only paralyzed the city's infrastructure and disrupted social order, but also set fire to an innocent person who blamed them for creating the chaos. Rioters have carried out a long list of atrocities including smashing Mass Transit Railway, looting stores, besieging police stations, and setting fire outside a court. They want to destroy both the material and spiritual culture of Hong Kong, the rule of law, and the way that Hong Kong people have lived for more than a century. Those thugs have become greedy extremists who have abandoned the humanitarian spirit and rule of law.

It is ridiculous for those thugs to claim to be freedom fighters while damaging freedom, to call themselves pioneers of democracy while trampling democracy, and to claim to protect Hong Kong through violence. Behind their insane logic are shady deals and conspiracies. Their actions have stigmatized Hong Kong, a place that ranks at the forefront of freedom in the world; it is they who have ruined Hong Kong while they blame police enforcement for it. They cite bravery, resistance, children and righteousness as being on their side.

As people have seen, however, it was those children who threw incendiary bombs at police and residents; it was those children who put home-made bombs on campuses and in the streets. They initiated violence against Hong Kong and willingly became cannon fodder for anti-China forces. They wore black masks and immersed themselves in darkness and evil. They are no more than a group of gangsters railing against modern civilization and the rule of law.

For Hong Kong rioters, bringing destruction to the city is their final goal. For those who are against Hong Kong, they oppose for opposing’s sake.

Unfortunately, there are some public figures and intellectuals who have shown blatant support for black-clad rioters. A well-known lawyer told his students that "violence is also a way to solve problems," and "the rule of law does not necessarily represent justice." A teacher also made ridiculous remarks on social media that "I wish all family members of Hong Kong police go to hell." 

After rioters set a fire outside the High Court and the Court of Final Appeal, some members of the HKSAR Legislative Council suggested that the culprits could have been anyone and not necessarily rioters. Their support and tolerance of violence may incite more young people to join the violent protests. Rioters are teaming up with members of opposition forces in Hong Kong because both have betrayed their morality and conscience. They are pushing Hong Kong to the edge of the precipice. No matter how rhetorical they are, they will be judged in time and by history.

From the moment thugs set a fire outside a court and planted a bomb on campus, Hong Kong residents should have realized that it is impossible to convince rioters that their ambitions and acts are ridiculous. Their interests can only be served when the city is on the brink of destruction. Those rioters are not demonstrators; they are criminals.

Hong Kong's prosperity can only be reestablished under the premise of supporting peace and law. Hong Kong people's livelihoods are closely linked to the city’s future prosperity.

Recently, it seems that the storm of unrest in Hong Kong has started to abate. It is a good opportunity for the HKSAR government and residents to join hands and take constructive measures to ease the tensions. It is not only about the future of Hong Kong, but also about the safety and living environment of anyone who calls Hong Kong home.

(Compiled by Ryan Yaoran Yu and Elaine Yue Lin)