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High time for Hong Kong to take the initiative to revitalize itself



Jul 03, 2020, 17:16

Rioters in standoff with police outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, China, November 17, 2019. /Xinhua Photo

When Western critics tout the idea that the national security legislation for Hong Kong means the end of freedom in the city, they are partly correct.

The legislation restricts the freedom of a small group of people

The introduction of the law, aimed at "preventing, suppressing and imposing punishment for the offences of secession, subversion, organization and perpetration of terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security in relation to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region," means the end of the right of riot agitators and those committed to arbitrarily disrupting social stability.

In addition, it signifies the end of the freedom of external forces to support subversive activities in the city. Both "freedoms" have left Hong Kong with deep scars over the past few years, especially since the riots erupted about a year ago.

In contrast, for an overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents, the enactment of the legislation means the return of their freedom to continue with their study, work and daily life without interruption. Only by restricting the freedom of a small number of people igniting disorder in the city can residents be guaranteed the most rudimentary right to life, security and development.

The law will help promote the concept of nation among the public

Due to historical reasons, the idea of Hong Kong "belonging to a nation" is relatively vague among many Hong Kong residents. When speaking of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, they tend to focus on "two systems" while ignoring "one country", its pre-condition, even 23 years after the city's return to China.

For the first time, the new law will require the city to "promote national security education in schools and universities and through social organizations, the media, the internet and other means to raise the awareness of Hong Kong residents of national security and of the obligation to abide by the law." It is expected to help correct the idea that Hong Kong is a "stateless nation," an idea that will bring almost no benefit when finding a proper position in a rapidly changing era.

The law is not omnipotent

However important the national security law is in reshaping a stable social environment for Hong Kong, it provides no more than a basic premise for the city's future development. Whether Hong Kong can reverse the trend of being stuck in economic stagnation or even recession and remain relevant in regional or global development, to a large extent, depends on how swift it can be and how much momentum or courage it has in carrying out social and economic reforms to adapt itself to the changing world.

The problems that have hindered Hong Kong's development cannot be solved in one fell swoop. Here are some major aspects for the city to focus upon in the new national-security-law era so that the window of opportunity won't be missed again in the coming decades:

More smooth integration with the Chinese mainland growth plans

Economically, Hong Kong may be affected in the short term as the United States, its second largest trading partner, eliminated the city's special customs status. According to Nicholas Lardy, an expert on the Chinese economy from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, only one percent of the 45 billion U.S. dollars of goods exported to the States from Hong Kong is actually produced in the city and is eligible for low tariff rates. It means that the impact of Washington's move on the city is limited.

More importantly, Hong Kong needs to cast its gaze northward on the Chinese mainland as the latter has proven its vitality and resilience time and time again, even when the region or the whole world was entangled in such mires as the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the 2008 subprime crisis and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In its latest World Economic Outlook Update issued a week ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the Chinese mainland's economy will grow by one percent this year—better than other major economies, such as the United States and the European Union, which are projected to shrink by eight percent and over ten percent, respectively.

The IMF also predicts that the economic growth of the Chinese mainland will surpass eight percent in 2021, the highest growth of any country. The Financial Times reported on Sunday that the Chinese mainland has leapfrogged Britain and France to become the world's fifth-largest fund hub. The sharp-nosed fund managers won't make a move for nothing.

Only through actively integrating its growth strategy into the regional development plans the central government has come up with, such as the Greater Bay Area Plan and the Belt and Road Initiative, can the city realize a more steady and efficient growth aboard the mother ship.

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China is doing the right thing.

What China really need is a couple of global channels of communication to reach out to the world to project China's action in the correct light. Drawing viewers is no easy task. Like in Australia there is substantial misinformation being fed to White Australians in particular which deepened the misconception of China. The threat to China is that Australia is Asia's brain washing hub that converts Chinese who go there. If the Chinese mentality is continuously undermined, Chinese will not dare to speak up in this world.

This will also cause a damaging adverse impact on the people from Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines as these people travel to Australia frequently and they will also be negatively influenced. They will be inclined to think that White Australians are better than Chinese from China. It definitely is time for China to disseminate accurate information in these countries to pass on the correct information and counter those biased news in Australia. Note the time Australia allows the negative news on China to hog its media as compared to the positive ones which generally are for the pretence of its impartiality only. China has to ensure that its information is presented enrichingly and professionally, not monotonously, distatstefully or biasedly. Such perception positioning should be genuine and should alleviate China significantly over Australia. The moment the world trusts China more than Australia, that's the correct result. With its social development, China has to become a global education hub including for the learning of English language. Hence China must be able picture itself correctly and not being painted wrongly. Muscling in the public arena against US projects an image that China will not be intimidated but its seriously inadequate. There is totally no appeal of any sort in there and as such China failed to garner global postive emotion towards it - the trust factor. How can China teach mass communication and psychology if it can't even put Australia, a country with serious racial biasness in its right place? 1.4 billion people ought to have easily influenced the 20 million or so population not the other way round. China must be cognizant of its national psychology education. However for such education to have positive impact on Chinese it requires the unity of all its ethnics in one voice without the application of force. Think over it, how can Australia be known for education or even be recognised as a developed country with its dysfunctional racism? Its integrity grossly displaced. With such serious racist problems that it continues to pretend doesn't exist, Australia is totally unqualified to comment on others. Australia has been seriously grossly over-rated, more so in Asia.


Hong Kongers show to the world that they are less ability as human beings in coping with problems. They vent their anger by destructive action and ruin hard built social stability through diligence and honesty through quality and reliability.

Today, they are no longer looked upon as human beings but less being human that are good in total obedience to western powers!

Hence, the need to impose this National Security Law to protect the weak who will be harmed.