To be seen as a responsible international actor, China must comply with global agreements and develop the rule of law at home. Through its actions in Hong Kong, Beijing is showing the world how thin China’s commitment to the rule of law is.
Are flag-waving, anthem-singing patriots or underperforming officials what China needs? Beijing should consider fostering genuine patriotism in Hong Kong under ‘one country, two systems’, by responding to Hongkongers’ needs.
Hong Kong’s guidelines for prosecutors say there are conditions in which prosecution does not serve the public interest. Recent acts, in a highly charged atmosphere created by unresponsive government, should fall under those conditions.