HONG KONG, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Fabrizio Goldoni, an Italian expatriate who has lived in Hong Kong for nearly three decades, decided to speak up for the global financial hub after it once again became the target of a smear campaign.
When reading international newspapers recently, Goldoni found groundless allegations, including Hong Kong's democracy being trampled on and freedoms and human rights being undermined.
Such statements are not correct, he said in an interview with Xinhua.
Goldoni believes that some Western politicians just aimed at projecting a bad image of Hong Kong and containing China's development. "This unfortunately is what happens," he said.
The increasing slander came after the decision was made by the central authorities on the improvement of Hong Kong's electoral system, a move aimed to prevent Hong Kong from being plunged again into chaos fanned by anti-China disruptors and ensure the enduring success of the implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle in Hong Kong.
Goldoni moved to Hong Kong in 1993 to seek a career in the financial sector. He has witnessed Hong Kong's great development after returning to the motherland.
"Actually they (Hong Kong people) had a much less possibility to express their political views or these kinds of things (before Hong Kong's return to the motherland)," Goldoni said, comparing to the democracy and freedoms enjoyed by law-abiding Hong Kong residents at present.
With the improved electoral system, Hong Kong's democracy system will be enhanced, rather than being damaged, he said, citing electoral loopholes closed and a broader representation and overall interests of society better reflected.
As to the criticism made by some Western people on the "patriots administering Hong Kong" principle, Goldoni said it is a blatant double standard.
"Basically the principle is to be loyal to your own country and to love your own country. It is not unique for Hong Kong. In Western countries, is it possible to put...people (to positions of power) who hate their country and damage their country? I don't think so," he said.
It doesn't make sense that civil servants pledging loyalty is okay in Western nations but not in China's Hong Kong, he added.
Already seeing Hong Kong as his second hometown, Goldoni was extremely saddened when witnessing its success and prosperity were devastated by riots in 2019 and reading news that glorified violence and smeared the efforts by central and local authorities to bring the place back to life.
To many people living outside of Hong Kong, "I would say that most of the information they received (about Hong Kong) through the mainstream media are not correct," he said. "The reality here is that the democracy has been improved, the violence on the street has been solved, and society has managed to survive a very difficult crisis."
With a stable environment, Goldoni expects a more prosperous Hong Kong.
Hong Kong will make greater progress by integrating into the national landscape and the younger generation will have more opportunities, he said, in particular citing the rapid development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
"It will be the future of Hong Kong," he said.