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Saturday, November 16, 2019, 09:17
Xi's comments show the world bottom line on Hong Kong issue
By He Shusi and Edith Lu in Hong Kong
Saturday, November 16, 2019, 09:17 By He Shusi and Edith Lu in Hong Kong

Hong Kong residents offer to help remove bricks scattered on roads by radicals to hold up traffic in Sai Wan Ho on Friday. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)

President Xi Jinping's latest statement on Hong Kong's situation, made during the BRICS Summit, has shown the world the central government's bottom line on Hong Kong affairs and its determination to end the city's prolonged violence, cross-sector leaders in Hong Kong said on Friday.

President Xi Jinping hopes the SAR government can bring offenders to justice and end the violence as soon as possible

They made the remarks after Xi, speaking in Brasilia on Thursday, stressed that the most pressing task for Hong Kong at present is to bring to an end the violence and chaos that has plagued Hong Kong since June, and to restore order to the special administrative region.

Tam Yiu-chung, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the country's top legislature, said that Xi's statement was the second in 10 days on Hong Kong's situation, but the new one had stronger wording.

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It reflected that under the worsening situation in Hong Kong, the president hopes the SAR government can bring offenders to justice and end the violence as soon as possible, Tam said.

Noting that Xi's statement stressed China's opposition to any external force interfering in Hong Kong's affairs, Tam said Xi sent a clear message to the international community on the central government's bottom line and firm stance on Hong Kong's current unrest.

Xi chose to make the statement at the BRICS Summit in Brazil as it could send a message to the world that China is determined to stop the violence, said Hong Kong business tycoon and Lan Kwai Fong Group Chairman Allan Zeman.

Central govt's firm support

Zeman said Xi's words could reassure Hong Kong society that the city has the central government's firm support.

Grenville Cross, a barrister and Hong Kong's former director of public prosecutions, said that by making his call at the BRICS Summit, the global community has been alerted to China's concerns over the concerted attacks being made on the "one country, two systems" principle, which has been fundamental to Hong Kong's stability and prosperity since the handover in 1997.

Xi's unequivocal endorsement of efforts by the SAR government, the police and the judiciary to hold the line and uphold the rule of law, and to punish those who are seeking to destroy Hong Kong's much-envied way of life and stability, is highly reassuring not only for the officials themselves, but also for the law-abiding people of Hong Kong who are sickened by the behavior of mobs, Cross said.

David Wong Yau-kar, a Hong Kong deputy to the NPC, said Xi's remarks reflect his hope for the collaborative effort from the SAR's executive, law-enforcement and judicial bodies to end the violence.

Given the dire situation in the city, Xi alerted the SAR government that it must maximize its efforts in order to solve the crisis, Wong said.

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'Most pressing task'

Echoing President Xi Jinping's statement on Hong Kong's situation during the BRICS Summit in Brazil, the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region stressed that ending violence, restoring order is the most pressing task for Hong Kong. 

It reiterated its support to the HKSAR government, the Hong Kong Police Force and the city's judiciary to severely punish the violent criminals in accordance with the law, and safeguard the "one country, two systems" principle as well as the city's security and stability.

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