See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Politics

Beijing slams unrest and backs HK govt’s use of lawful means to tackle it

Protests have shut down Hong Kong for the past several days before a government crackdown.


Written by

Updated: June 14, 2019

Beijing yesterday condemned the unrest that broke out in Hong Kong over the city’s extradition Bill as an organised riot, and said it supported the local government’s use of lawful means to resolve the situation.

Asked if the central government supported the use of rubber bullets and tear gas on protesters on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that mainstream public opinion in Hong Kong was against any act that undermines the city’s prosperity and stability.

“Any civilised and lawful society will not tolerate the destruction of peace and tranquillity,” he said.

“The Chinese central government strongly condemns all types of violence and supports the Hong Kong government to handle the matter according to the law.”

Chinese state media has blamed Hong Kong’s opposition camp and foreign elements for inciting lawlessness and exploiting the issue for their own benefit.

The English-language China Daily said the extradition Bill satisfied international conventions, but “the opposition camp and its foreign masters seem willing to oppose it for their own purposes at the expense of the city’s rule of law, public safety and justice”.

The nationalistic Global Times echoed this in multiple editorials yesterday that blamed the protests on “radical opposition forces (and) the Western forces behind them”.

“Radical opposition groups in Hong Kong are colluding with hostile forces out of their own political motivations,” it said. “Hong Kong residents should avoid being cheated, misled and exploited by them.”

Discussions of the protests on Chinese social media such as the Twitter-like Weibo service remained tightly controlled, limited mainly to state media carrying the Foreign Ministry statement.

The few exceptions were posts put up by pro-Beijing accounts, including one that claimed it had proof of Central Intelligence Agency “black hands” masquerading as foreign journalists among the protesters, and another that showed a man shouting at pro-democracy legislator Tanya Chan about being brainwashed.

Chinese netizens appeared to be largely aligned with Beijing’s narrative, with many rueing the paralysis wrought by the mass protests. “I hope that the people of Hong Kong will become more rational and not be manipulated by foreign forces,” said a netizen surnamed Kang.

However, there is also a strong sentiment that Hong Kongers are ungrateful or that they feel they deserve special treatment.

“How come they can sign (extradition agreements) with the whole world but not the mainland?” asked one netizen surnamed Gu.

“Hong Kong has returned to China; this is just like a child crying and refusing to be disciplined,” said another commentator, Yu Xiang. “He just needs to be spanked.”

A four-minute video posted by Global Times editor Hu Xijin, analysing the root cause of the protest, was widely shared, garnering more than 5,000 likes, shares and comments.

Mr Hu said political confrontations are a “game used to achieve balance” in Western societies, but have no place in non-Western societies where they erode social governance and the societal compact.

There were few dissenting comments, but some observers noted that Mr Hu appeared to be one of the few personalities allowed to speak at length about the Hong Kong situation.

“What has happened? Even Old Hu has been mobilised,” said Weibo user Youda Fanshu, using a nickname for Mr Hu.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Politics

US bill on HK infringes on China’s sovereignty

An editorial from Chinese State Media. The passage by the US House of Representatives of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which confirms the United States’ support for protests in China’s special administrative region, comes as no surprise, given the high-profile support in the House and the visit of Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong and Denise Ho to the US last month. It is also likely to be passed by the US Senate soon. In supporting the legislation, which threatens Hong Kong’s “special status” if certain provisions are not made to protect its autonomy, US politicians claim they are supporting the “rights” and “liberties” of Hong Kong people. China calls the legislation a mechanism that supports separatism. Although the Western media are quick to dismiss such a claim, details of the act reveal Washington’s real agenda goes f


By China Daily
October 23, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

South Korea PM’s Japan visit a chance to mend ties

The two countries have not seen eye to eye after a trade dispute. Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon kicked off a three-day visit to Japan in the hope that a meeting with his Japanese counterpart will pave the way for improvements in the two countries’ strained relations. Before heading to Tokyo, Lee said he hoped South Korea and Japan would foster harmonious and mature relations despite difficulties, speaking with Japanese Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine, who saw Lee off at Seoul Airport in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. “I don’t expect that this visit will resolve everything but it will become an opportunity to take a step forward,” Lee said. Lee described Japanese Emperor Naruhito as a “warm and friendly” person, recalling their encounter at the World Water Forum in Brazil in March last year. On Tuesday, Lee attended Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony at the Imperial Palace, which was followed


By The Korea Herald
October 23, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Mahathir warns of possible trade sanctions on Malaysia amid US-China trade war

From a Reuters report in Straits Times. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday (Oct 21) that his exports-reliant country could be hit with trade sanctions amid rising protectionism highlighted by the United States-China tariff war. Tun Dr Mahathir did not mention the source of possible sanctions on the South-east Asian country, but said he was disappointed that proponents of free trade were now indulging in restrictive trade practices on a “grand scale”. “Unfortunately, we are caught in the middle,” he told a conference in the capital Kuala Lumpur, referring to the US-China trade war. “Economically, we are linked to both markets and physically, we are also caught in between for geographical reasons. There are even suggestions that we ourselves would be a target for sanctions.” The US and China were two of the three biggest export dest


By The Straits Times
October 23, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Nepal needs development, but not by coercion

Reimagining Nepal and developing it warrants a broad outlook that listens to its people and shows regard for their displeasure. The country’s obsession with bulldozers and excavators as a symbol of development reached an eerie new high yesterday as a viral video sent a chill down people’s spines. In the name of building a road in Dashrath Chand Municipality in Baitadi (roads are synonymous with development in Nepal), an excavator was seen gouging into the land even as locals protested and pelted it with stones. Read: Excavator operator and three others detained for investigation in Baitadi As the excavator operator pressed forward using brute force in a disoriented manner, the massive machine’s toothed bucket knocked down a woman to the


By The Kathmandu Post
October 23, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

New Delhi slams Islamabad for unilaterally stopping postal services

Prasad further said that Pakistan ‘without any prior notice or information has stopped sending postal department’s letter to India’. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that Pakistan had stopped postal service from India for the last two months and slammed the move saying that it was in contravention of international norms. “For the last two months, Pakistan has stopped postal service from India. It’s directly in contravention of the World Postal Union’s norms,” Prasad told reporters. “But Pakistan is Pakistan,” Prasad, who is the Minister for Communications and IT, added. He said that Pakistan “without any prior notice or information has stopped sending postal department’s letter to India”. Pakistan has upped the ante against India ever since Parliament withdrew special category status to Jammu and Kashmir by revoking Article 370 of its Constitution.


By Dawn
October 22, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Beijing sounds warning against foreign interference at annual security forum

China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe delivers a speech at the Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, China. China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe sounded a thinly veiled warning against the United States at a security conference in Beijing, saying that interfering in the internal affairs of others and inciting colour revolutions have led to wars and turbulence in various regions in the world. Such “reckless interference” would not foster harmonious relations, said General Wei on Monday (Oct 21) in his speech to open the conference. Beijing has blamed foreign countries, including the US, for inciting the unrest that has convulsed Hong Kong for five months. It has also


By The Straits Times
October 22, 2019