BEIJING: A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman once again urged the United States to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, stressing that no one should underestimate China’s firm resolve to implement the “one country, two systems” principle and safeguard prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying made the comments when responded to a letter from some US lawmakers Friday, in which they urged the US government not to help the “repression” of Hong Kong’s “peaceful demonstrations” and rejected the idea of defining those demonstrations as “riots.”
“The relevant US individuals are calling black white with ill intentions. We firmly oppose that,” said Hua.
Hua said the violent radicals in Hong Kong smashed their way into the Legislative Building and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with iron sticks.
They wantonly vandalized public facilities, obstructed public traffic and illegally stored dangerous goods and offensive weapons. They attacked the police in lethal means, beat them and even bit their fingers off. They tarnished the national emblem and national flag.
Those scenes have been witnessed by people around the world. How on earth do those individuals in the United States call them “peaceful demonstrations”? Hua asked.
“All people with conscience will agree those violent behaviors have already crossed the bottom line of any civilized society. They have crossed the line of peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression,” said Hua.
“They have gravely trampled on Hong Kong’s rule of law, threatened local people’s safety and property and violated the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” Hua continnued. “Such things simply cannot be tolerated.”
China also warned protesters that they should not underestimate “the immense strength of the central government,” in a strong rebuke to those involved with civil unrest in the Asian financial hub.
At a press briefing in Beijing, Yang Guang, spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, also said “those who play with fire will perish by it.”
The comments represent some of the strongest-worded warnings from China’s central government yet over protests in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong, which has been plunged into chaos by weeks of clashes.
Protests were triggered by opposition to a planned law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, but then rapidly evolved into a wider movement for democratic reform and the protect of freedoms.
Yang said the “radical protests… have severely impacted Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, pushing it into a dangerous abyss.”
He also said the government still “firmly supports” both the Hong Kong police force — who have faced criticism in the city for their handling of the protests — and Carrie Lam, the city’s pro-Beijing leader, who has faced calls to resign from protesters.