The unrest in Mong Kok represented a “genuine” terrorist activity, according to Peter Wong Man-kong, a Hong Kong deputy to the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC).
Wong argued for a mainland-style counter-terrorism law to be passed in Hong Kong, RTHK reported on Tuesday. He said that he will bring the topic up at the NPC and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) meetings at the beginning of March.
Wong said that the Mong Kok riots had exceeded the scope covered by Article 23, a proposed security law which he had supported in previous years. He added that the attacks on police officers amount to terrorist activities, and that it is a matter of the utmost urgency to resist and prevent riots and punish rioters.
Wong, a Hong Kong entrepreneur by profession, had been a supporter of a counter-terrorism law in Hong Kong before the Mong Kok unrest broke out on February 9 over the government’s clearing of street hawkers.
“After Hong Kong had experienced 79 days of ‘Occupy Central’ and groups of foxes and dogs battling Hong Kong lawlessly, the Pearl of the Orient has been tarnished, which is heartbreaking,” he wrote in his Weibo blog on December 23, 2015, when the mainland counter-terrorism law was being discussed in the NPC.
“Today [we] see that if the content of ‘counter-terrorism law’ is applicable in Hong Kong, the scandalous crowd will be punished, and Occupy Central will not appear,” he added.
The counter-terrorism law was passed on the mainland on December 27, including measures to limit press reporting of ‘terrorist’ incidents and to increase the Chinese government’s surveillance into the private sector. Among its provisions is one requiring technology firms to provide technical assistance to decrypt information.
However, the law does not apply to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) under the provisions of the Hong Kong Basic Law and the principle of One Country, Two Systems.