The legal head of Hong Kong’s China Liaison Office Wang Zhenmin has criticised locals for “dwelling on unfortunate incidents in history.” He also called on them to “open their eyes” and change their prejudice towards China.

At a Handover anniversary Basic Law forum on Friday, Wang hit out at Hongkongers who were critical of Beijing and said “these people have brains made of granite, they’re constantly living in the past…. They dwell on unfortunate incidents in history, refusing to let go, rubbing salt on the national wound every now and then.”

Hong Kong is the only place in China that holds annual candlelight vigils for the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. During the incident, the Chinese government sent tanks into Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of student demonstrators.

Wang Zhenmin. Photo: Citizen News.

Wang also criticised them for failing to admit the reality that Hong Kong has returned to the motherland and refusing to acknowledge the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership. He said the constitutional system has been supported by countries all over the world.

“If the Chinese Communist Party is so scary… why is it that – over the past 30 years – China has become the world’s top foreign investment destination? If there is no freedom of expression or communication in mainland China, why would it produce high-tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent that highly rely on [such freedoms]? Why are they not appearing in other countries?”

The China Liaison Office. File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

“If China’s legal system is so poor, why would there be so many overseas top 500 companies that invest in China?” he added.

Wang said that he believed after decades or centuries, China’s constitutional system will gain more recognition, and it will change the situation of “western hegemony” and its “moral high ground.”

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.