Beijing dials up rhetoric in Hong Kong, blames foreign interference

Politics & Current Affairs

Hong Kong’s protesters show no sign of slacking, but Beijing is sending menacing signals. Here are the latest developments from the only city in China where people are still allowed to protest en masse:

New planned protests 

“A march has been planned for Yuen Long on Saturday in protest of the violent mob attacks at the district’s metro station,” reports Hong Kong Free Press.

Will China send in the tanks?

“China on Wednesday warned that it would not tolerate protesters’ efforts to threaten the central government’s authority in Hong Kong and suggested that it could, if necessary, mobilize troops in the People’s Liberation Army garrison there to maintain order,” reports the New York Times — or see this report in Hong Kong Free Press.

Beijing is certainly dialing up the rhetoric, blaming foreign interference and calling for punishment for protesters. See for example Hong Kong opposition’s pipe dream of amnesty to the mob in the Global Times, or No external forces allowed to disrupt Hong Kong from Xinhua News Agency.

For more on the propaganda effort from Beijing, see Hong Kong through China’s distorted lens by David Bandurski of the China Media Project.

The death threat from pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho

“In an ominous warning at a time when political violence has become a persistent concern in Hong Kong, Junius Ho [何君堯 Hé Jūnyáo], a pro-Beijing lawmaker, cast what was widely perceived as a death threat toward an opposition lawmaker in a late-night video message,” reports the New York TimesPer Wikipedia:

Ho is known for advocating violence against his opponents. In 2017 he called for the deaths of Hong Kong independence activists, and in 2019 he defended indiscriminate attacks on commuters by suspected triad members, who he called his “heroes” and said should be “pardoned for defending their homes”.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Free Press reports, “Pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu [朱凱廸 Zhū Kǎidí] has said that pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho’s alleged role in the violent mob attacks in Yuen Long on Sunday should be investigated.”

Students clash in Australia

“Pro-Hong Kong and pro-China students have clashed at the University of Queensland during a protest against Hong Kong’s controversial extradition law,” according to the Guardian.

Photo: Winson Wong