Tung Chee-hwa blames social unrest on US and Taiwan

August 01, 2019 17:38
Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa speaks during a luncheon organized by his think tank Our Hong Kong Foundation on Wednesday. Photo: HKEJ

Hong Kong's first chief executive Tung Chee-hwa has accused the United States and Taiwan of orchestrating recent anti-government protests.

In a speech at a luncheon on Wednesday, which was organized by Our Hong Kong Foundation, a think tank he founded in 2014, Tung said there were reasons to believe that "foreign forces" were behind the current social unrest, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Unlike social movements in the past, recent protests were well-organized and massive in scale. The storm is obviously being fanned by those who want to exploit differences between Hong Kong and the mainland to incite citizens to ruin the relationship between the two.

Tung, who is vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body, said various signs show that Taiwan and the US are pulling the strings to turn Hong Kong into a pawn that they can use to pin down China.

Since the 1997 handover, foreign politicians and anti-China forces have tried to incite Hong Kong people’s fear of the Communist Party and to change Hong Kong into a base to resist the central government, RTHK quoted him as saying.

However, the people of Hong Kong absolutely cannot be exploited by others, he said.

Noting that Hong Kong is facing an unprecedented and worsening storm even after the government suspended the extradition bill, Tung warned that if protests persist, people’s employment and means of livelihood will be affected.

He also praised the police force for maintaining their discipline despite the huge pressure put on them, adding that the people are supportive of efforts by the government and police to defend the rule of law.

While he insisted that Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has learned her lesson from the extradition bill saga and expressed his support for her administration to continue pushing for reforms, Tung did not touch on the protesters' demands, such as the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry and reactivating constitutional reform.

Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu said Tung’s groundless accusations against the US amid the Sino-US trade war showed that he was either trying to make waves or was severely disconnected from reality.

Also on Wednesday, Chen Diaoxiang, the commander of the People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong, told an event marking the 92nd anniversary of the PLA that recent extremely violent incidents in Hong Kong have challenged the rule of law and social order and threatened the safety of people’s lives and properties.

Such incidents seriously touch the bottom line of the "one country, two systems" principle and definitely cannot be tolerated, Chen said.

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