Series of Hong Kong protest which have caused the majority of young people to disrupt its economy has been lasted for almost 11 weeks. Some other Hong Kong residents and overseas Chinese have urged the protesters to immediately end the action. The pressure was conveyed by around 470,000 pro-government mass gathered at Tamar Park.
They called on protesters to end demonstrations, violence and radicalism because Hong Kong’s condition was becoming increasingly bleak. Under the fluttering Chinese flag, they also requested that the protesters not to damage public facilities. The mass of pro-government said that prolonged demonstrations did not benefit Hong Kong at all.
In addition to causing many casualties among Hong Kong fellow citizen, the city’s economy is also disrupted. The fact is the same, the Hang Seng Stock Exchange has dropped more than 10% in the past month because investors have become anxious. More than 340,000 small and medium businesses in Hong Kong claimed to have been “hit” by the protests.
President of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce for Medium and Small Business, Joe Chau, said some local companies were even on the verge of bankruptcy because their businesses suffer more than 30% of financial loss. Hong Kong Bank Retail Management Association Board Member, Kwan Pak Hoo revealed that retail industry also experienced a single digit decline in July and is likely to continue into double digits this month.
Meanwhile, Japanese company Yoshinoya also experienced a sales drop of more than 10% in July compared to last year. Observers Mei Xinyu from the Chinese Academy of Economic Cooperation and International Trade assess the demonstration risking Hong Kong’s business confidence and economic prospects.
Hong Kong SAR Secretary of Finance Paul Chan Mo Po added that the government had lowered Hong Kong’s GDP growth forecast from 2-3% to 0-1% this year. That was caused by the negative impact of the prolonged demonstrations and riots.
Criticized by business sector
Real estate entrepreneurs in Hong Kong requested that the protests should be stopped immediately. Even one of the biggest companies in Hong Kong, Swire Pacific (SWRAY), gave condemnation against the demonstrators.
Through its official statement, Swire Pacific expressed its concern over the massive demonstrations in Hong Kong. “Swire Pacific is also anxious about the riots that have plagued Hong Kong and supported the government in restoring peace in Hong Kong,” the company management explained.
To note, Swire Pacific is a company owned by the Swire family and this company has been established since 200 years ago. The company has luxury hotels, office centers and luxury shopping areas in the city center. Not only the property business, this company is also the largest shareholder in the Hong Kong-owned airline, Cathay Pacific.
Besides Swire Pacific, Sung Hung Kai Properties also gave his statement. The company, which is controlled by the third richest family in Asia, Kwok Family, said that the demonstrators immediately stop the demonstration.
The company also showed its support for the government and Hong Kong Prime Minister Carrie Lam to stabilize the situation in Hong Kong. While other property businesses, Peter Woo, who previously served in the Wheelock & Co. company, also asked Hong Kong residents to rethink their actions.
Hong Kong is the country with the most expensive real estate prices in the world, and demonstrations that have been going on for several weeks have the potential to threaten its economy.
Even more surprising, city officials gave warnings that anarchist demonstrations in Hong Kong could have a longer lasting impact than the spread of the deadly SARS virus in 2003 which made their tourism industry suffer losses due to the loss of tourists.
Demonstrations also drew criticism from Hong Kong residents themselves. The majority of the demonstrators were young people, judged by the older generation of Hong Kong to have passed the tolerance limit. Besides harming many people following the crippled airport for two days, the demonstrators were also considered to have been anarchist.
“They (protesters) do not know what they are doing. What they are doing is excessive. If they want to hold a demonstration, go ahead. But, what they have done has gone beyond this,” said Wong Man Kit (82), as quoted from CNA, Monday (8/19)
According to him, the police had been fair in handling protests, it was proven because the Hong Kong police only responded after the protesters threw objects at them, or in other words, the Hong Kong Police defended themselves and guarded their facilities.
Other Hong Kong residents, who only want to be known as Leung, also argue that the young people have done wrong. “They were born and raised in Hong Kong. “By making things worse here, what should they get?” He said.
He also argued, if the demonstrators did not agree with government policies, then they should discuss with the government slowly and avoid provocative actions, as well as provide an opportunity for all parties to resolve the issue. He further alluded by questioning the humanitarian side of the demonstrators, “They are civilized people. Are civilized people violent?”
These older generations firmly support the steps taken by the Hong Kong police. “I appreciate the police.” The protesters destroyed Hong Kong’s livelihoods. They blockaded the airport. In a democratic country, there is no problem for them to express their views. But they cannot cross the boundary line, “said Mr Tham (63).