A game changer: When protesters vandalized the Beijing office, they might have given the China govt an excuse to take an extremely tough stand…

 

Published on Jul 21, 2019

SUBSCRIBE 641K
In Hong Kong, anti-government protests show no sign of letting up. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets for a seventh weekend in a row. The protests continued after nightfall, with scuffles breaking out when some protesters defied police orders and marched beyond the official finish point. The rallies were initially sparked by a controversial extradition bill. Though the bill has now been suspended, the protesters are worried about an erosion of freedoms under Chinese rule and under pro-Beijing chief executive Carrie Lam and want free elections. Could Beijing send troops to Hong Kong to quell the protests? Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/deutsche…

The Wall Street Journal @WSJ

 

For now, Beijing likely wants Hong Kong to arrest protesters and stop further demonstrations. Should that fail, experts said, Beijing has options—many of them unpalatable and risky—including calling in the military.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-lets-hong-kong-protest-images-circulate-to-whip-up-public-anger-11563793760

Eva Dou @evadou

China lets images of HK protests circulate in social media and on TV. “The Chinese government is essentially preparing the people for a potential acceleration of the crisis in Hong Kong,” says

. wsj.com/articles/china… w/

China Lets Hong Kong Protest Images Circulate to Whip Up Public Anger
China allowed images of Hong Kong’s antigovernment protests to spread on social media, a change in tack that appears aimed at fanning public anger, as Beijing signaled support for a stronger crackd…
wsj.com

China Allows Hong Kong Protest Images to Circulate, Fanning Public Anger

Foreign Ministry says local authorities should use ‘all necessary measures to…safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong and punish criminals’

BEIJING—China allowed images of Hong Kong’s antigovernment protests to spread on social media, a change in tack that appears aimed at fanning public anger against the demonstrations, as Beijing signaled support for a stronger crackdown by authorities in the city.

After Hong Kong protesters defaced a Chinese central government office in the city, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said local authorities should use “all necessary measures to…safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong and punish criminals”—without saying specifically what that response might entail.

For now, Beijing likely wants Hong Kong to arrest protesters and stop further demonstrations. Should that fail, experts said, Beijing has options—many of them unpalatable and risky—including calling in the military.

In high-profile commentaries Monday, major Chinese news outlets reported that “radical protesters” in Hong Kong a day earlier defaced the liaison office by splashing black paint on the state emblem on the front of the building and writing derogatory slogans on its walls.

Pro-Beijing opinions were also allowed to proliferate on Chinese social media, as censors appeared to tolerate the sharing of footage and images of the unrest in Hong Kong—as long as they kept to the official narrative on the protests.

Antigovernment protests generally get short shrift in Chinese state and social media. Officials typically censor or understate reports of public unrest world-wide for fear of encouraging additional outbursts, while state media outlets rarely publicize acts of vandalism against symbols like the Chinese flag and state emblem.

Adam Ni, a China researcher at Macquarie University in Sydney, said Beijing appeared to be trying to take control of the narrative, as word of the protests had reached people on the mainland over the past seven weeks despite censorship efforts.

“The Chinese government is essentially preparing the people for a potential acceleration of the crisis in Hong Kong,” Mr. Ni said. “It has really seen the writing on the wall that the majority of the Hong Kong people are not happy with the current arrangement.”

In recent weeks, demonstrators in Hong Kong have broadened their list of targets which have included symbols of China’s presence in the city, including a high-speed rail station that connects to the mainland.

At a news conference Monday, the Hong Kong government and its police force put up a united front to condemn the weekend’s violence, which it blamed on radical groups. “Their targeting of the national emblem can absolutely not be tolerated,” said Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive. “The government will take all actions to deal with perpetrators.”

“By yesterday, some demonstrators attacked the Liaison Office, defaced the national emblem and graffitied the Liaison office,” said Li Xiaobing, a mainland scholar who studies Hong Kong affairs. “When things reach this stage, the nature has changed.”

All three of China’s main state-media outlets published commentaries denouncing Sunday’s violence.

The throwing of paint at the Chinese state emblem was an act that “raised people’s hackles,” Xinhua News Agency said. “The blatant desecration of the state emblem represents a trampling of national dignity and sentiment.”

In a front-page commentary, the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, People’s Daily, said people in Hong Kong “must recognize the violent and damaging nature of the extreme minority of radicalists, and firmly protect ‘one country, two systems’”—Beijing’s framework for governing Hong Kong as a semiautonomous region.

State broadcaster China Central Television denounced the vandalism as a “blatant challenge” to Beijing’s authority and said the perpetrators must be strictly punished. “If we allow these black sheep who forget their ancestors to wantonly disregard the law, behave unscrupulously, trample on Hong Kong’s rule of law and challenge the central government’s authority,” CCTV said, “what rule of law and what future can Hong Kong speak of?”

Chinese media also lauded a pro-police rally in Hong Kong on Saturday, which organizers said drew more than 300,000 people. Police said it was attended by 103,000 people at its peak.

“The ‘silent majority’ have come out to speak,” read one widely circulated blog post by Xiakedao, a social-media account run by the overseas edition of People’s Daily. The post called the rally an “unprecedented movement by all of Hong Kong’s people.”

At the same time, there was a concerted online push to discredit media reports that Beijing doesn’t agree with. People’s Daily published an online post about a pro-Beijing protester shouting “fake news” at a British Broadcasting Corp. reporter over the weekend, which said the BBC had grossly underestimated the number of pro-government protesters.

Criticism of Sunday’s antigovernment protests also proliferated on Chinese social media, including the widespread sharing of images from Sunday’s protests—an apparent shift in Beijing’s censorship strategy.

On the popular Weibo microblogging service, Hong Kong emerged as a top search topic Monday afternoon. Posts with the hashtag “Protect Hong Kong” garnered more than 130 million views, while those with the hashtag “the central government’s authority is not open to challenge” received more than 72 million views.

 

.

.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/hong-kong-protest-chinese-envoy-media-condemn-protest-beijing-11742514

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A game changer: When protesters vandalized the Beijing office, they might have given the China govt an excuse to take an extremely tough stand…

  1. Edward Lye says:

    I am not at all surprised. I have seen this happen in far too many movies/dramas. Now the tide has turned and all the efforts so far are now rendered inconsequential as Beijing now ascends the moral high ground. There is no way the protesters can repair this damage or make reparation. The same thing might happen to our new government.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s