29th May 2022


Letter to the editor on Hong Kong

  • 'The protesters trashed the city's once-superb metro system, blocked major roads and railways, vandalised private and public property, assaulted bystanders who disagreed with them, and dug up entire streets to use the paving stones as weapons' (Photo: Studio Incendo)


Natalie Bennett claims that on the EUobserver opinion page law enforcement by the Hong Kong Police in reaction to the occupation of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University is "an act of war, perpetrated by heavily armed officers against largely unarmed protesters inside the university", and that the Hong Kong Police has shot "unarmed protesters" at point blank range.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

It is simply not true that most of the protestors are unarmed students.

Many of them are armed radicals who have hijacked a movement that began with peaceful demonstrations.

In the past week or so, they occupied university campuses to turn them into arsenals to manufacture thousands of petrol bombs, hurling them at the Police when it tried to disperse them. They repeatedly fire-bombed toll booths and destroyed the entire ventilation system of the cross-harbour tunnel, which is one of the major routes connecting Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

The headquarters building of cross-harbour tunnel has been severely savaged beyond recognition and the tunnel is now completely in tatters.

It will take some time before it can be in operation again.

The protesters trashed the city's once-superb metro system, blocked major roads and railways, vandalised private and public property, assaulted bystanders who disagreed with them, and dug up entire streets to use the paving stones as weapons.

In addition to throwing thousands of petrol bombs, radical protesters holed up inside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University used bows to shoot arrows at the police. An officer is recovering after being shot by an arrow that pierced his leg.

Police only respond with necessary force when radical protesters take part in illegal and violent activities. No law enforcement agency anywhere in the world, including in Europe, would tolerate such blatant disregard for the law and threats to life and property.

Violence will only breed more violence. Tolerating or endorsing the violent protests is not only irresponsible, it is counter-productive and could seriously undermine Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and way of life as a special administrative region of China under the 'One Country, Two Systems'.

The Hong Kong special administrative region government is open to frank and candid exchanges with groups from all sides.

In the past few months, we have been meeting representatives from various sectors to hear their views. Our priority is, first and foremost, to end the violence and restore calm so as to create a positive environment for dialogue on deep-seated issues in our society.

Author bio

Eddie Cheung is special representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union.


The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

Watershed moment for rule of law in Hong Kong

As EU foreign affairs ministers meet in Brussels, we have seen unarmed protestors in Hong Kong shot at point blank range, others bloody and beaten, and then incarcerated over the border in mainland China in prison camps.

EU ends silence on Hong Kong protests

The EU, in league with Canada, has spoken out on the Hong Kong protests after months of silence in what one expert called "a clear expression of support for the protesters".


Right of Reply: Hungarian government

The government in Budapest responds to EUobserver opinion piece "Are Orban's Covid powers now the 'new normal' in Hungary?"

When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin

Neither Reagan nor Gorbachev achieved their goal at the famous Reykjavik summit of 1986. Despite that fact there are lessons that current leaders — particularly Vladimir Putin — could adopt from these two iconic leaders.


The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is back

Ukraine is finally understood — and hopefully Belarus will be soon too — as a self-standing society and state with close links to its EU neighbours, rather being relegated to Russia's backyard.

Brexit hostility to Good Friday Agreement is damaging UK in US

Democratic Unionist MPs could affirm unequivocally they support the Good Friday Agreement, with no return of a border with physical controls on movement of people, goods or agricultural produce within the island of Ireland — but they won't.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us