Triumphant Chinese media declares Hong Kong pro-democracy 'revolution' defeated

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese state-run media on Friday triumphantly declared the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement "defeated", warning domestic and foreign "hostile forces" against destabilising the city.

"The defeat of the 'Umbrella Revolution' has also sent a clear message to hostile forces - both local and overseas," the government-published China Daily said in an editorial. "On matters of principle, the central government will never make any concessions.

"And in a free and prosperous civil society such as Hong Kong, there is simply no soil for political schemers to advance their agenda."

The editorial - titled "Umbrella revolution defeated" - was published a day after police in the territory cleared tents and barricades that were used in more than two months of pro-democracy rallies calling for fully free leadership elections.

The movement has long been derided by Chinese state media, who claim it lacks local support and is backed by outside forces opposed to China's rise.

The China Daily lamented the "great damage" caused by the protests, but said one positive had come out of the campaign - "the 'one country, two systems' principle (was) straightened out".

"By now Hong Kong people know better that the 'high level of autonomy' doesn't mean full autonomy," the editorial said.

Meanwhile the Global Times, which is close to the Communist Party, warned of the dangers of "street politics" in its editorial on Hong Kong.

"Street politics can easily ravage a society and are addictive to some members of the public," said the newspaper, which often takes a nationalist tone.

"We firmly oppose the notion that society can be overhauled through street violence. This is a key political principle," it added.

The demonstrators were calling for fully free elections for the city's leader in 2017, but Beijing has insisted a loyalist committee vet the candidates, which protesters say would ensure the selection of a pro-China stooge.

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