HONG KONG, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government held its first community dialogue on Thursday evening, which local media saw as a first step to ease social tension and restore public confidence.
HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam and four secretaries of the HKSAR government had candid talks with about 130 representatives of the public at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai on Thursday.
An editorial carried by the Wen Wei Po said that Hong Kong society was seriously torn apart by the prolonged violent protests. Under such circumstances, the HKSAR government showed its sincerity and willingness to shoulder responsibility by listening to different voices and even harsh criticism, which was the first step to replace confrontation with communication, and bridge the rift through dialogue.
The Hong Kong Commercial Daily pointed out in an opinion piece that people in Hong Kong, after months of chaos and violence, wished for restoration of social order. The dialogue was a good way to ease social tensions, and could help rebuild public confidence.
According to a commentary by the Sing Tao Daily, stopping violence and enhancing dialogue are the constructive measures for Hong Kong’s future development. It saw the dialogue as a platform where people could exchange ideas and think in others’ position, something that could never be achieved by using violence.
It was noted in the commentary that the biggest problem in Hong Kong currently was radical violence that undermined the rule of law, hurt local economy and affected people’s normal life. Only through dialogue could Hong Kong find a solution.
Hong Kong Economic Times said in an editorial that the community dialogue was a first step to ease social tension, adding that the HKSAR government should show its sincerity, determination and capability with real action.
In early September, Lam made a televised speech, proposing four actions to turn around the current difficult situation, including to initiate community dialogues starting this month.