'Absurd' for independence advocates to seek US helpTop News | Staff reporter 18 Sep 2019
Sing Tao News Corp chairman Charles Ho Tsu-kwok says it is absurd and wrong for local extremists to seek help from the United States - which is not as free as Hong Kong.
In an open letter to all consulates in the SAR and the international community, Ho - a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - criticized independence advocacy groups which are trying to persuade the US Congress to pass the Hong Kong Rights and Democracy Act.
He cited last year's Human Freedom Index by the Canada-based Fraser Institute, in which Hong Kong was ranked the third freest city globally, while the United States, Britain, France and Germany were all ranked lower.
"A handful of local extremists who already enjoy a great extent of freedom is seeking help from the not-as-free United States," Ho wrote.
"Are they really fighting for freedom and democracy for Hongkongers? Or are there ugly political intentions behind it?"
Ho, who returned to Hong Kong before the 1997 handover after living in the United States for 30 years, defended the central government, saying it has strictly followed the one country, two systems principle in allowing Hongkongers autonomy and an independent judiciary system.
Since June, Hong Kong has been plunged in chaos and unrest every weekend, sparked by the introduction of the fugitive amendments bill, Ho said.
"As you may be aware, I was the first person to publicly question the bill because I foresaw how the bill, which comes with good intentions, could easily become a target that would arouse attack from the international community."
He added: "Today, no one mentions the deceased Poon Hiu-wing [the Hong Kong woman found murdered in Taiwan] anymore, and the chief executive's hope to uphold justice for her has turned into a damp squib.
"Instead, the city has been subjected to endless violence on the streets, while some local politicians try to bring in international intervention."
Ho said violence has continued to escalate even after Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced an official withdrawal of the bill, revealing the "political intention in disguise - independence," which is "promoted in a ruthless and tyrannical manner."
He called on consulates and their staff to be objective, rational and act according to conscience, in telling their own country about the reality in Hong Kong.
And this is "rioters hurling petrol bombs, vandalizing public transportation facilities and attacking citizens with opposing views with lethal weapons such as bricks, steel pellets, slingshots, knives and batons," Ho said.
He added he is particularly concerned about protest organizers encouraging teenagers in secondary or even primary schools to join them.
"To all consulates in the SAR, supporting ongoing violent events means agreeing with independence for Hong Kong. This is not the official stance of your countries, is it?" he asked. "Please refrain from rubbing salt on Hong Kong's wounds, or adding fuel to the raging fire. Please act cautiously and do not condone evil."