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Pro-democracy protesters firebomb the toll gates to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel on November 14, 2019. Photo: AP

LettersHong Kong national security law is the price city pays for pro-democracy camp’s self-serving tactics

  • The pan-democrats’ failure to compromise on Article 23 and political reform, and their unconscionable silence on protest violence gave Beijing the opportunity to tighten its grip on Hong Kong
Every time you turn on the TV there is something on the national security law. How it is meant to help Hong Kong. How it is damaging Hong Kong. How it has unified international opinion on Hong Kong, China and the “one country, two systems” principle.
Ask yourself why the law was imposed by Chinese authorities. There are two clear answers. One, in 23 years our elected officials were unable to implement it; and two, the violent protests that rocked Hong Kong for six months last year. These were not condemned by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp, which in many ways tacitly supported the protests to promote their own political agenda.

If you have even any understanding of how the Chinese Communist Party works, you will know that it either saw this as an opportunity to impose a greater degree of control over Hong Kong or felt it had no other option than to do so.

Very few in Hong Kong, of whichever camp, wanted to see rules imposed by the party: not yellow, not green and not blue. Enacting a national security law for the special administrative region should have and could have been done through the channels available to us in Hong Kong. But the pro-democratic camp, as it has so often done, opposed it for the sake of opposition, without providing a viable alternative or workable changes that could have led to a document drafted in the Legislative Council and put through public consultation.

With Hong Kong in political paralysis, no wonder Beijing is stepping in

The same happened with the 2014 Occupy Central campaign. The opportunity for every Hongkonger to vote directly for the chief executive was taken off the table. Yes, the choice would have been limited, and yes the candidates would have had to be vetted by the party, but was it not better than no vote at all?
Occupy Central co-founders (from left) Chan Kin-man, Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming beat on drums during a protest rally at Tamar Park on August 31, 2014. Photo: Felix Wong

There seems to be no better example of the age-old expression that “you reap what you sow” than the Hong Kong political situation. So shame on the pro-democracy camp and to those who conducted, assisted and abetted the illegal protests and violence.

You have cut off your noses to spite your faces, but the worst part is it has affected everyone in Hong Kong, not just yourselves. The fault lies fairly and squarely at your feet and I look forward to the day when the majority of those who live in Hong Kong realise this and vilify you as they should.

Gunther Homerlein, Sheung Wan