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Some show ignorance of situation in Hong Kong

By Hussein Ismail | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-08-28 08:56
Hong Kong police attend a press briefing in Hong Kong, on Aug 27, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

One thing that is worrisome about Hong Kong is the ignorance among some in the media regarding the current situation.

For more than two months, I have been asked to comment on the situation in Hong Kong, a city with which I have a special relationship. I witnessed the ceremony of China's restoration of sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, and later visited the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on several occasions.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, commissioned me to translate the Arabic version of the Hong Kong Basic Law.

Some mistakenly think Hong Kong is an independent country and ignorantly ask about the possibility of China "intervening" there.

And some don't even know the reasons for the protests. On being told that the amendment the protesters cited as an excuse to demonstrate has been withdrawn, and therefore there is no justification for the protests, they talk about freedom and democracy.

The biased media is trying to tarnish the image of China and the Hong Kong SAR's government. They refrain from condemning the violence perpetrated by protesters, while exaggerating the police action in maintaining public security and order.

For instance, a BBC report on July 30 highlighted a police officer pointing a gun at a crowd of protesters, but ignored the fact that the officer had been attacked by protesters and was pointing the gun in self-defense.

It appears that different parties want to exploit the Hong Kong situation to their advantage. There are those who want to use the protests to generate sympathy for their own problem, for example the attempt to compare the Egypt clashes of 2013 and the Hong Kong protests.

Yahya Hamed, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization, wrote in Newsweek on Aug 20: "I survived Egypt's Rabaa massacre. And believe me, it could happen in Hong Kong." But that situation, in which more than a hundred people were killed, involved clashes between supporters and opponents of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi in the Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo.

When I tell interviewers that protesters in Hong Kong stormed the airport and government buildings, destroyed public property, assaulted civilians and journalists and raised the British and US flags, and that the victims are the common people of Hong Kong, they seem to have a clear message: Condemn China.

China is committed to the "one country, two systems" principle in Hong Kong. In accordance with the Basic Law, Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy. With the exception of external relations and national defense, which are the responsibility of the central government, Hong Kong has executive and legislative powers. It also has judicial independence.

The author is a senior political researcher at Egypt State Information Service. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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