Three open letters to Hong Kong’s young people claimed to be penned by four mainland youths over the Mong Kok street violence on Monday night went viral online.
Addressed to “the friends of the same age in Hong Kong”, the letter’s authors said they shared the same dream as the city’s youth and did not want to see them resort to violence.
“As someone sharing the same age as you, we want to tell you loudly: the problem you are concerned about is too small,” one letter stated. “The future of Hong Kong and the motherland has counted on us. Do you have any solutions to the problems concerning Hong Kong’s economic development?”
Resolving such problems required wisdom and not arson and brick-throwing, the authors said.
“We have experienced riots of a more severe nature,” the letter continued. “We do not want you to repeat history. Which countries have improved their people’s well-being through social unrest? Would you only come to your senses after you pay the price?”
The letters appeared on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, sparking extensive debate in The Paper and other mainland portals that published the messages after their release on the WeChat account of changanjwj.
The account was believed to be close to the mainland’s political and legal affairs commission, based on previous messages issued from the account.
While some internet users agreed with the letters’ argument, others backed the rioters, saying their actions were a way to defend Hong Kong from mainland interference.
The letter’s authors also said they were shocked by the statements issued by the student unions of the city’s eight institutions, which all expressed support for the overnight mayhem on Monday night.
“We are more astonished by these [statements] than by the Mong Kok riot itself,” one letter read.
“These are all prestigious institutions we have heard of since we were in high school. How could their student unions say something like ‘violence against violence’?”
The authors, who said they were all born in the 1980s and 90s, called on Hong Kong’s young people to leave aside their prejudice against the mainland and seize the chance to learn more about their motherland.