Chinese state media denounces HK protesters seeking US support

11-Sep-2019 Intellasia | AFP | 6:02 AM Print This Post

This story is being published by POLITICO as part of a content partnership with the South China Morning Post. It originally appeared on scmp.com on September 9, 2019.

Chinese state media warned Hong Kong protesters not to test the patience of the central government and said Beijing would act against subversion after an rally calling for the US Congress to back a bill to help protect the city’s human rights.

The commentaries on Monday came a day after thousands of protesters joined a peaceful march to the US consulate in Hong Kong, urging American officials and politicians to support their cause by taking diplomatic action against the city’s government.

A opinion piece by the Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid, said some extreme demonstrators were undergoing a “fit of hysteria, announcing that should their demands not be met, they would rather destroy everything”.

A rally in Hong Kong on Sunday urged the US Congress to pass the Hong Kong human rights bill. (SCMP)\

A rally in Hong Kong on Sunday urged the US Congress to pass the Hong Kong human rights bill. (SCMP)\

“If the US passes the bill to interfere in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, it would not be for the sake of the city, but rather to turn the financial hub into a card Washington can use to increase pressure on Beijing. The US will only decide its policy toward Hong Kong based on American interests,” the article said.

It argued that passing the bill would be a “deep intervention” in Hong Kong affairs, and warned it would not influence Beijing’s handling of Hong Kong’s affairs.

“If the situation in Hong Kong gets out of control, leading to subversive disorder and humanitarian disaster among society, Beijing will definitely take action in accordance with the Basic Law,” it said.

An editorial in China Daily warned protesters against testing the “patience of the central government” and said the rally was proof that foreign forces were behind the protests.

“They have already challenged the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems’ by seeking US help to achieve their nefarious goal of ‘Hong Kong independence’,” it said.

“The demonstrations in Hong Kong are not about rights or democracy. They are a result of foreign interference. Lest the central government’s restraint be misconstrued as weakness, let it be clear secessionism in any form will be crushed.”

The protests in Hong Kong have fueled the already escalating tensions between China and the US Beijing has repeatedly asked US lawmakers to halt the push for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which includes punitive measures on officials found to have suppressed human rights or “basic freedoms” in Hong Kong and requires the US president to review the city’s special economic status each year.

At present this shields Hong Kong from the tariffs Donald Trump has imposed on mainland Chinese exports.

The bipartisan amendment was initially proposed in 2016, months after five Causeway Bay booksellers disappeared from the city only to reappear in the mainland’s courts.

It was then reintroduced by Representative Jim McGovern and Senator Marco Rubio earlier this year when the first protests started against an extradition bill, which will be formally withdrawn.

It would also mandate a review of Hong Kong’s enforcement of US export control laws and sanctions, including whether American technology is being used to develop mass surveillance or social credit systems on the mainland.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong government said foreign legislatures should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of Hong Kong.

“It is very much in Hong Kong’s own interest to maintain our autonomy to safeguard our interests and advantages under the one country, two systems principle,” the spokesman said.

State media also condemned violence on Sunday, when some of the protesters broke away from the main rally, vandalising some MTR stations.

A commentary by Xinhua, the official state news agency, blamed the protesters for “selfishly” putting their interests above other people’s.

“Astonishingly, there are still people in Hong Kong society who are exceptionally tolerant towards violence and refuse to cut ties with the violent protesters,” it said.

“In reality, this kind of mentality fueled the aggressiveness of those mobs, and gave them a false feeling that the whole society would support or accept their so-called ‘resistance’ and continue to live in a self-beautifying illusion.

“For the silent majority who love Hong Kong, it’s time to stand up and loudly say no to this violence.”

People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official mouthpiece also attacked media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, accusing him of colluding with foreign forces, and deceiving young people to die for their cause.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/09/hong-kong-protesters-1486227

 


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