Radical protesters in Hong Kong engage in 'democratic terrorism'
Updated 23:15, 30-Aug-2019
Dr. Summer

Editor's note: With a doctoral degree in communications from the Communication University of China, Dr. Summer has been working in the field of international journalism for 30 years. The article reflects the author's views and not necessarily those of CGTN.

The recent protests and unrest in Hong Kong show no sign of ending. Some Western political forces and the Western media have termed the events "pro-democracy demonstrations." I certainly do not agree with them on the term.

Democracy generally means a form of government in which people choose their representatives or leaders by voting. Although democracy can be achieved via various mechanisms, a basic principle involves dialogues, consultations, and negotiations among different groups as equals.

To begin with, the HK demonstrators already have the rights for democracy and freedom of speech guaranteed by the Hong Kong Basic Law, otherwise, they would not have been able to organize the series of demonstrations and protests. But if we take a closer look at the development of the events, it's clear that what started as a peaceful demonstration has been manipulated by a group of radical protesters and turned into violent clashes with the police.

A demonstration was held on April 28 against the Hong Kong SAR government’s move to start the legislative process of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019. Although the government modified some clauses according to demonstrators' demands, they were not satisfied - they organized more protests and demanded an end to the process. When HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam refused to withdraw the bill, some protesters turned even more aggressive and clashed with the police in June.

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

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

As a matter of fact, the Hong Kong SAR government has shown its will to protect the city's democracy under the rule of law. In an attempt to bring an end to disputes over the proposed fugitive bill, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the suspension of the amendment bill on June 15 and called for joined efforts to restore law and order in the city.

But some elements behind the demonstrations would not stop. They were determined to keep pushing their political agenda. From then on, the demonstrations turned violent. On July 1, some radical protesters stormed the Hong Kong Legislative Council Complex. Later on, they even vandalized the national emblem and flag at the building of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong, showing open comtempt towards the authority.

These radical protesters have also escalated their violence. They place their demands above the existing laws and established order and they don’t want dialogue or negotiation. Since, they have been blocking public transportation, attacking police officers who were on duty to maintain law and order, vandalizing office buildings, intimidating and bullying those who showed support to the police. They've stopped tourists at the airport and they’ve even assaulted journalists for reporting the true stories at the scenes of their violence.

That's why earlier this month, the Chinese government said the action of some of the protesters had shown "signs of terrorism." Terrorism may take different forms, but terrorists have one thing in common: They are radicals with extreme beliefs, who’ll try any means to force their ideas onto others. This is also true for the Hong Kong radicals, whose latest slogan is: “If we burn, you burn with us.”

Real democracy is achieved through dialogues and consultations among different groups and consensus is reached through compromises based on negotiations in a legal and orderly manner. A rational agreement cannot be reached through violence. A rioter is a rioter no matter what he or she claims to be. A democratic mask does not make a rioter the incarnation of righteousness, but rather, it’s a label that says "democratic terrorism." These radical rioters put Hong Kong democracy in grave danger, rather than making it work.

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