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Love Hong Kong and stop hurting it, say ordinary Hong Kong people

(Xinhua)    13:38, August 20, 2019

HONG KONG, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- As protracted violence continue to roil Hong Kong, ordinary Hong Kong people find themselves bearing the brunt of the burden. Concerned about the future of their life and that of their home, more and more are speaking out against violence.

For a hotel room attendant surnamed Wang, the protracted violence could cost her job as a usual summer boom for Hong Kong's tourism industry has turned into a chilly winter due to the unrest.

"Because of a significant falloff in bookings, the hotel asked staff to take leave as soon as possible," Wang told Xinhua, adding that if the situation fails to improve after the leave, she will have to take unpaid leave.

Wang said her husband is a taxi driver, and his business has fallen by half since June, when Hong Kong's opposition and some radical forces started to use the pretext of peaceful demonstration to engage in violent protests.

"If I take unpaid leave, my family's earnings will drop to quarter of what it used to be," she said.

Currently more than 20 countries and regions have issued travel advisories for Hong Kong over the unrest.

In the June-July period, average earnings for tourism workers plunged by 74 percent, while the number of tours in Hong Kong fell 74 percent on average, according to a survey by the Hong Kong Tour Guides General Union.

The weeks-long violent protests have also taken a toll on small businesses like Wong Pang's logistics company.

As protests dragged on into August, black-clad demonstrators held unlawful assemblies at the Hong Kong International Airport, bringing the region's major transport hub to a grinding halt. The siege of the airport had cost his company a six-figure loss, said Wong.

"By blocking the airport, the subway and the tunnels and calling for strikes, they (violent protesters) seek to disrupt Hong Kong's transport and economy in their own interests," said Wong.

"They may claim that they love Hong Kong, but all I can see is their despicable aim to disrupt the economy and hijack the interests of the majority of Hong Kong people," he added.

For a Hong Kong resident surnamed Ng, living near a police station used to mean a sense of security. But as radical protesters besiege police stations and attack police officers across Hong Kong, vicinity has incurred suffering.

For days, Ng said, protesters had gathered around the police station till wee hours, throwing bricks at officers and firing laser beams at them.

"I haven't had a sound sleep for days. I hope those protesters will understand that they are dragging down all Hong Kong people with them," said Ng. "But all we need is to live and work peacefully."

The protests have also sown divisions in the Hong Kong society, pitting friends and family members against each other, said Jackie Cheung, vice president of Federation of Hong Kong Shenzhen Associations.

"Families are divided, with parents and children being unable to communicate with each other. Hong Kong is no longer peaceful," Cheung said.

Amid the threats, more and more Hong Kong people are speaking out against violence.

Despite rains, over 470,000 people gathered on Saturday in a rally held at Tamar Park in Hong Kong to voice their demand for peace and stability.

Calling Hong Kong "always a peaceful society," a 57-year-old gardener surnamed Chan expressed his hope that "the extremist radicals stop violent acts so that people can return to peaceful life."

A bank staff surnamed Fu said Hong Kong is becoming more and more alien to him nowadays, with many famous tourist sites being painted with aggressive slogans and residents staying at home on weekends out of safety concerns.

"We all love Hong Kong, but I am very sad to see what happened recently," said Fu.

"Resorting to force is never an option. It will not help," he added. "I hope the demonstrators would return to reason, put aside violence and bring back a vibrant, peaceful Hong Kong."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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