Saturday, November 16

Chinese state media ups ante over Hong Kong ‘mobsters’

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BEIJING: Chinese state media have ramped up the rhetoric against Hong Kong’s pro-democracy campaigners, describing them yesterday as “mobsters”, warning they must never be appeased and raising the spectre of mainland security forces intervening to quash them.

On Monday, Beijing described unrest and clashes in Hong Kong – which started as opposition to a proposed extradition law but morphed into calls for democratic reform – as “terrorism emerging”.

Chinese state media has repeatedly issued harsh criticism of the protests, which are the biggest threat to Beijing’s rule in the semi-autonomous city since the handover in 1997.

The official state news agency Xinhua warned in a commentary yesterday that “violent radicals” were pushing Hong Kong into an “abyss” and warned there should be no compromise to their demands.

“Any connivance or support for the mobsters, any appeasement of them, or sophistry and excuses for them are an insult and defamation of the Hong Kong police force guarding their homeland,” the commentary said, adding that the unrest posed “great harm to Hong Kong’s overall interests”.

The nationalistic tabloid The Global Times said the “most extreme demonstrators have been attacking the police and using increasingly dangerous weapons”. — AFP