Beijing condemns Hong Kong protests via state media

Wendy Tang
Chinese state media focussed on the vandalism during the most recent protests - AFP

Beijing has ratcheted up its rhetoric condemning the protesters in Hong Kong after weeks of downplaying the demonstrations in the media.

The state broadcaster CCTV aired footage of the protests for the first time since they began more than a month ago, showing the vandalism.  The state TV anchor condemned the violence. 

The denouncement came after protesters defaced the central government's official emblem with ink, daubed graffiti on the wall and pelted its building in Hong Kong with eggs on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, protesters marched peacefully along a designated route, but some radical protesters proceeded to vandalise offices. 

Hong Kong police have arrested six men, some with links to triads, after video surfaced of them attacking peaceful pro-democracy protesters on the same night.

Forty-five people were injured after assailants violently attacked demonstrators at a metro station.  

Beijing state media focussed instead on criticising the protesters. The Global Times published an editorial saying the actions as “openly challenged the authority of the central government, touched the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems’ policy and violated law.”

The editorial continues: “These people are frenzied as rioters and as cowardly as villains. But all their tricks will be useless…. The criminals who insulted China’s national emblem will eventually be in the defendant’s seat. Prison awaits them.”

Legal analysts said the status of these protesters remain unclear since they have not been charged with criminal offences in Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong has been embroiled in its seventh week of protests, which began as a fight against a controversial extradition bill, and turned into a broader demand of democracy in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. 

The city’s top leader, Carrie Lam, said on Monday that Hong Kong will not tolerate any violent acts.