July 02, 2019

Chinese State Media Seizes on Hong Kong Chaos, Defends Police
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese media rebuked Hong Kong protesters’ defacement of the city legislature and cited citizens defending the police’s use of force, as Beijing seized on the chaos to bolster its long-held arguments about the potential for democracy to cause instability.The China Daily newspaper ran pictures of the protests on its website on Tuesday, along with condemnation by officials including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam. National broadcaster CCTV also aired her statement along with footage of police securing the building. A website run by the Communist Party’s nationalist Global Times said the chaos “disrupted public order and challenges the rule of law,” and that China’s only expectation of Hong Kong is for “stability and prosperity.”Lam sparked the worst political crisis since the former British colony’s 1997 handover to Chinese rule with the decision to push ahead with a controversial bill that would ease extraditions to the mainland, alarming locals and spooking Hong Kong’s business community. Despite the embarrassment of a mass public challenge to China’s position of control over the city -- including Monday night’s unfurling of a Union Jack-emblazoned colonial flag by protesters who broke into Hong Kong’s legislature -- Beijing still backs Lam’s administration.Interactive: How Hong Kong Got a Million Protesters Out on the StreetsThe ransacking of the legislature came on Monday’s anniversary of the 1997 handover, as tens of thousands of people marched peacefully in a separate annual protest that passed near the complex.The party’s flagship People’s Daily said it had interviewed a Hong Kong citizen. “What forces so many people to unite together and call for justice? It is the conscience of the citizens,” it quoted the citizen as saying. “It is the public’s resolution to support the Hong Kong police force in enforcing law in a just way and maintaining Hong Kong’s rule of law!”Earlier: Fresh Hong Kong Protests Signal Gridlock Facing Lam’s GovernmentThe official Xinhua News Agency ran a story on Hong Kong citizens commemorating the return of Hong Kong to China, and said separately that Hong Kong has benefited from China’s reforms and opening up under its “one country, two systems” framework of governance.The only way for Hong Kong “to sustain economic growth and maintain stability is for it to further integrate its own development into the nation’s overall development,” China Daily wrote in a commentary. “Yet ever since Britain returned Hong Kong’s sovereignty back to China, there has been one attempt after another to undermine law and order.”To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Sharon Chen in Beijing at schen462@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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