Violent Hong Kong protests a sign of terrorism emerging, says China

Anti-government demonstrations rocking Hong Kong are growing increasingly violent, with footage emerging of police chasing protesters into a subway station over the weekend and beating them as they try to flee.
Hong Kong's anti-government protesters are refining their battle tactics as demonstrations stretch into the 10th week, and police are responding with tougher action to clear the streets.
Riot police shout at anti-Extradition bill supporters after police detained protesters near a Sai Wan Ho Mass Transit Railway station in Hong Kong, on Aug 11, 2019.
Riot police shout at anti-Extradition bill supporters after police detained protesters near a Sai Wan Ho Mass Transit Railway station in Hong Kong, on Aug 11, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • China has described violent protests in Hong Kong as a sign of "terrorism emerging", as state media published a video of armoured personnel carriers purportedly driving towards a city bordering the territory.

Beijing slammed protesters who it said had thrown petrol bombs at police officers in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong's radical demonstrators have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers, which already constitutes a serious violent crime, and also shows the first signs of terrorism emerging," said Mr Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council, or China's Cabinet.

"This wantonly tramples on Hong Kong's rule of law and social order," he added at a press briefing in Beijing yesterday.

Later yesterday, two state media outlets - nationalistic tabloid Global Times and the People's Daily, mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party - ran a minute-long video comprising clips of armoured personnel carriers and troop carriers purportedly heading to Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong.

The video shows roughly two dozen armoured carriers apparently driving through the southern city of Guangzhou and other troop carriers leaving south-eastern Fujian province.

The People's Armed Police are in charge of "handling riots, turmoil, seriously violent, criminal activities, terrorist attacks and other societal security incidents", the People's Daily said in captions accompanying the video.

The People's Armed Police are assembling in Shenzhen "in advance of apparent large-scale exercises", the Global Times said.

Beijing's warnings came a day after thousands of anti-government protesters hit the streets for the 10th straight weekend.

 

Mr Yang highlighted the "senseless" attacks on Aug 11 of a "tiny minority", which he condemned as "a serious challenge to Hong Kong's prosperity and stability".

"Hong Kong has reached a critical juncture. All those who care about the future of Hong Kong should stand up firmly and say 'no' to all criminal acts, and say 'no' to all violent elements," he said, noting that restoring order is the priority for Hong Kong now.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2019, with the headline 'Violent protests a sign of terrorism emerging, says China'. Print Edition | Subscribe