HK protesters cannot 'win' by beating reporters
Zhao Yuanzhen

Editor's note: Zhao Yuanzhen is an opinion editor with CGTN Digital. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN. 

The chaos in Hong Kong continues. In their latest move, protesters paralyzed the eighth busiest airport in the world and continued to disrupt order, in spite of calls for calm by officials and complaints from other Hong Kong residents.

On Tuesday night, tensions escalated after violent protesters beat up a reporter from the Global Times as he voiced support for the Hong Kong police. This attack showed that they want nothing more than wreaking havoc and creating rifts between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. This protest movement has gone too far for its actions to still be considered legitimate. "Peaceful protests are of no use," a demonstrator was quoted by The New York Times as saying, "I've thrown caution to the wind." 

Violent protesters are still cautious enough to wear masks, but have already reached a level of recklessness that risks other people's lives.

Mobbing and publicly parading someone for supporting law enforcers turns into a massive joke protesters' calls for rule of law. If anything, these radicals have lost moral ground and undermined their strive for "press freedom" and "democracy," which they want to protect in Hong Kong, or so they claim.


But this protest is doomed to fail not only because its supporters have plunged the city in disarray and assaulted civilians who are not on their side, but also because the movement itself is fractured and deeply divided.

Democracy has become the pretext that protesters are using to release their grudges and entrenched bias against the Chinese mainland. Social media might help mobilize sympathizers to get out on the street, but the danger of unleashing violence beyond control is ever so present.

Protesters have stated that they chose Hong Kong airport, an international transport hub, to make their voice louder as local authorities are not responding to their demands. But what demands? 

Other than the reported five major demands, many are asking for the resignation of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, some are even waving the national flags of the UK and the U.S. while calling for the "independence" of Hong Kong.

Different groups with their own agendas have taken advantage of what's going on and focused their attention on bringing the government down. The fugitive bill, which was the initial cause of the action has been lost in the discourse of this protest, even though it has been declared "dead."

Violent protesters stain Chinese national emblem at the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, China, July 21, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Violent protesters stain Chinese national emblem at the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, China, July 21, 2019. /Reuters Photo

This fractured movement has made it hard for the authorities to communicate with protesters effectively. Is it possible for the HKSAR government to agree on their demands in their totality? Will the resignation of Carrie Lam satisfy the protesters? Probably not. Smearing the national emblem and taking down the national flag have signaled that what protesters really want is much more radical and unrealistic than what they claim.

Violence is not a solution to the current deadlock, neither is silence and misunderstanding. Those radical protesters who have been using violence as weapon should be punished by rule of law. Indeed, as Wu Guangzheng, a former member of the CPPCC and head of the Hong Kong Harbour City has pointed out, anti-violence should be the only demand at present.

The reporter has been discharged from hospital. "I still love Hong Kong," he said. Perhaps this also represents what most Chinese mainlanders feel about Hong Kong. They would hate to see the city in turmoil, as some protesters move things towards the point of no return.

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