Editorial:Never think for one second about invoking Article 18

【明報專訊】In the midst of Hong Kong society's turmoil and escalating violence, there are calls from the mainland for the central government to step in by, for example, declaring on the basis of Article 18 of the Basic Law a state of emergency in Hong Kong or even deploying the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison. These are extremely dangerous propositions that will mean a political road of no return if put into action. It will only spell the end of "One country, two systems" and deal a blow to the general development of the country. Even if such things happen, it cannot be guaranteed that the chaos in the city will be stopped. Hong Kong is on the brink of an uncontrollable state, and "One country, two systems" is in jeopardy. Things are approaching a critical point, in the face of which all parties must make decisions wisely. The government should set up an independent commission of inquiry while all parties of society should say no to violence loud and clear. The central government should allow Hong Kong to solve the crisis by way of the existing mechanisms. Never should it contemplate invoking Article 18 of the Basic Law to handle the chaos in Hong Kong.