In an earlier statement, HKU President and Vice-Chancellor Xiang Zhang condemned the “destructive acts” during the 1 July Clashes near the Legislative Council. The Hong Kong University Students’ Union expresses its utmost indignation by the hasty profiling and disgust against his yesmanship in times of turbulence.
The ancient Confucian wisdom that founded the University’s motto Sapientia et Virtus requires one to be not only a man of knowledge but also a man of the people. Hongkongers joined in the peaceful and rational fight against the tyranny, but only to see how the regime turns a blind eye to the cry of the people and even opens fire on unarmed students over the past months. Even if Xiang Zhang does not identify with the way how students have engaged themselves in this protest, as the President of the University, he ought to shoulder his responsibilities as an educator and respect and understand that students should be free to express themselves. How he has condoned the obstinate and unscrupulous regime behind this turbulence and joined the bully against the powerless is an utter dismay.
Protestors at the Legislative Council Clashes opened with their bare hands the gateway to light and hope. What were described as ‘destructive acts’ were but protestors forcing their ways, which resulted in no casualties, into the Legislative Council to urge the regime to respond to the demands of Hongkongers. It is, however, the regime that pressed the Extradition Bill ahead, destroying the assurance given by the law that Hong Kong people have enjoyed. It was this systemic violence against the people and the total disregard for the voices of the three martyrs and millions of protesters that have caused the protest to escalate. If the President finds himself so intolerant of any violence, why has he never condemned the abusive and violent police force and those who assaulted the students? Why is he instead siding with the regime?
During the May Fourth Movement, then president of the Peking University Cai Yuanpei took immediate actions to protect his students after their arrests. He was a true model to follow. The Union demands Xiang Zhang withdraw his statement and be responsible for his indefensible words. For he who leads the University shall always act on the interests of students and assist them by all means.
4th July 2019
The Hong Kong University Students’ Union