An official Chinese newspaper said on Monday that “foreign forces” are trying to deliberately hurt China by causing chaos in Hong Kong over an extradition bill that has started mass protests in this former British colony. But can we really call it a former colony if foreigners still have their fingers in there?
Early Monday, riot police put a perimeter around Hong Kong’s parliament after a peaceful protest against the bill turned into violent clashes between police and protesters.
Hundreds of thousands allegedly crowded Hong Kong’s streets earlier on Sunday to protest against the bill within the biggest demonstration in years. Many fear the bill is placing the city’s legal independence in danger. But just how much independence does Hong Kong have exactly? And who are the alleged foreign forces behind the protests?
Organizers claim there were well over 1,000,000 protesters, though police reports say the numbers were more likely around 240,000.
The China Daily talks about the extradition bill as much-needed legislation.
“Any fair-minded person would deem the amendment bill a legitimate, sensible and reasonable piece of legislation that would strengthen Hong Kong’s rule of law and deliver justice,” it said.
“Unfortunately, some Hong Kong residents are hoodwinked by the opposition and their foreign allies into supporting the anti-extradition campaign.”
Some protesters within the Special Administration Region (SAR) had been misled concerning the changes planned in the bill, whereas others were attempting to market a political agenda, the publication said.
“They have failed to realize that the opposition camp is using them merely as pawns in its maneuvers to reap political gains by damaging the SAR government’s credibility and reputation, or that some foreign forces are seizing the opportunity to advance their own strategy to hurt China by trying to create havoc in Hong Kong,” the China Daily said.
It did not say who those foreign forces may be.
Foreign governments have expressed their concern at the planned law, warning of the impact on Hong Kong as a world money hub, also noting that foreigners wanted by China risked getting caught in Hong Kong. Almost as if they want an exception to their criminal activities. And in the sea of burning questions, several key ones come to mind, most notably, how could have the protests been organized so well in such a short amount of time and how exactly were millions of propaganda material printed and distributed, again, in such short time span?
It certainly couldn’t have been the social media because the Hong Kong government monitors all the social channels and works hard in preventing just the scenarios we’ve seen over the past twenty four hours. Unless the “foreign forces” did in fact have something to do with organizing the whole thing.
Human rights teams have repeatedly cited the alleged use of torture, discretionary detentions, forced confessions and issues accessing lawyers in China. The allegations have never been proven.
A “Hong Kong” keyword search on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo on Monday showed solely posts from verified accounts, government sites and media organizations.
Hong Kong officials have defended the plans for extradition law.