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Chinese FM condemns “unacceptable” violence in Hong Kong

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday denounced Hong Kong’s months of unrest as “pure violence”, accusing foreign powers and the international media of fueling the political crisis.

The comments came in an exclusive interview with Agence France-Presse, a direct condemnation by a senior Chinese official of the protests that erupted five months ago and saw millions of people took to the streets to demand more democracy.

“What is happening in Hong Kong today is not in any way peaceful protests,” Wang Yi said in the interview during his visit to Paris on Monday.

“These are purely acts of violence. These are unacceptable acts in any country,” he said, accusing the protesters of attacking the police and the general public and paralyzing transport.

Hong Kong has been the scene of violent protests for 20 weeks, with violence on both sides escalating.

Although large crowds were marching peacefully regularly, clashes repeatedly erupted between smaller groups of hardline protesters and riot police.

Militant demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and bricks at police and vandalized shops believed to be pro-China. Police responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

With no political solution in sight, clashes intensified with each passing month.

Since taking over Hong Kong from Britain in 1997, China has run the trade center under the “one country, two systems” model, which allows the city to have freedoms not found on the mainland.

But public anger has been growing for years over fears that Beijing has begun to curtail such freedoms, especially since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.

Initial protests broke out this summer over opposition to the now-canceled proposal to allow the extradition of criminal suspects to Beijing. It quickly turned into a broader anti-government movement after Beijing and local leaders in Hong Kong took a hard line.

– “External Forces and Media” –

China regularly accuses “outside powers” of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong, often citing statements by some Western politicians in support of the protests.

In an interview with AFP, the Chinese foreign minister accused foreign powers.

“There are foreign powers that encourage this kind of street violence to destabilize Hong Kong and sow chaos … to eradicate the historic progress that has been made since the implementation of the one-state policy – two systems,” he said.

“This will never work,” he said, stressing that the Hong Kong government will be able to re-establish “social order and respect for the rule of law.”

“With the support of Beijing, Hong Kong will continue to apply the formula of one country, two systems,” Wang stressed.

Wang also targeted foreign media, saying some of them “describe this violence as democratic and peaceful, in total disregard of reality.”

He added that these media “do not hesitate to describe the actions of the police as violence. If such allegations can be considered a fact, how can we imagine that there is still justice in this world?”.

The Chinese state media, controlled by the Communist Party, have criticized the protests, both domestically and internationally, through its international television channels and its official social media accounts, including Twitter and Facebook, which are banned in China.

Fear of condemnation

Fears that China will send troops to end unrest in Hong Kong have spread.

Last week, the Chinese president warned against any attempts to divide China that could lead to “broken bodies and crushed bones.”

However, Chinese officials have repeatedly said Beijing believes Hong Kong’s police force can handle the protests.

Some analysts believe the Chinese president could face international condemnation if the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters was repeated in Tiananmen Square in 1989, when China deployed tanks and troops to crush the uprising, killing nearly 1,000 people.

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