HONG KONG, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Violence is no solution to problems and will only lead to a destabilized Hong Kong society, warned a former senior official of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government.
She called for restoring social order in Hong Kong as soon as possible and focusing on economic development and improvement of people's livelihood.
"Using violent means to achieve goals completely runs contrary to the principle of rule of law," Elsie Leung, former Secretary for Justice of the HKSAR government, said in a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Leung made the remarks after weeks of protests in Hong Kong have escalated into a spate of violent incidents, threatening social order and endangering public safety.
From storming and vandalizing the Legislative Council (LegCo) building, storming the institution of the central government in Hong Kong, to paralyzing the transport network and assaulting the police force with bricks and petrol bombs, various actions of the protesters have gone far beyond the realm of peaceful demonstrations, said Leung.
The protesters made more unreasonable demands and escalated their destructive actions even after the SAR government announced suspending the amendments to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance, which only laid bare their true objective of paralyzing Hong Kong and pushing it to anarchy, said Leung.
"No one is above the law," she said, stressing that all the offenders should be brought to justice.
"The protesters are repeatedly talking about safeguarding core values of Hong Kong, but what they did completely run contrary to values such as rule of law, democracy, human rights and freedom," said Leung.
Rather than resorting to violence, the protesters should follow the legislative procedures and air their view through existing institutional channels, she said.
"Nothing can be achieved and no problem solved in a society full of conflicts and disorder," said Leung. "It should bear in mind that the progress of a society is often incremental and cannot be achieved overnight."
Leung expressed hope that young people of Hong Kong will make more efforts to learn about the Chinese culture and the national spirit.
"The return of Hong Kong to the motherland entails much more than a change of flag or name," Leung said. "Many Hong Kong people need to embark on a spiritual journey of identifying themselves with the country and their nationality."
Leung noted that the HKSAR government has made great efforts to improve housing, education and healthcare over the past two years.
"The central government has also done its utmost to create opportunities for young people of Hong Kong through the Belt and Road Initiative and the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area," said Leung. "They should seize these opportunities."