China swipes at European countries who condemn Hong Kong crack down

‘We note the protests taking place in London and Catalonia’: Chinese government takes a swipe at European countries who condemn their crackdown on Hong Kong demonstrators – warning that condoning of violence will eventually backfire

  • Beijing accused European countries of double-standards on Monday 
  • Foreign ministry said democracy and rights were used as ‘pretentious cover’
  • It warned that interference into China’s home affairs would backfire 
  • Protests have become increasingly violent with tear gas and rubber bullets

Beijing has taken a swipe at European countries condemning its crackdown on Hong Kong demonstrators, pointing out recent protests in London and Barcelona.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying claimed Western powers were using notions of democracy and human rights as a ‘pretentious cover’ for interfering in China’s affairs, a strategy that would backfire.

‘We have noticed the affairs taking place in Catalonia and London. These are the internal issues of related countries. We hope the issues will be properly handled under their laws and systems,’ Hua said on Monday.

Cities across Catalonia have been rocked by pro-independence protests over the last week, while London has been shutdown by climate activists and anti-Brexiters.  

‘There can only be one standard and one attitude towards violence and in the end, double standards will only lead to self-harm.’

The staunch response comes amid increasingly violent demonstrations in Hong Kong, with protests now into almost their fifth month, and a police response involving tear gas, rubber bullets and water canons. 

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A paramedic helps a family with a child that was hit by teargas during a demonstration in Hong Kong

Police detain a protester during a rally marking the third month anniversary of alleged triads members attacking protesters and residents in Yuen Long on Monday night

A pro-democracy protester throws back a tear gas canister fired by riot police in Yuen Long district of Hong Kong Monday

China runs Hong Kong under a special ‘one country, two systems’ model that grants the international hub certain liberties but ensures the city’s leadership ultimately answers to Beijing.  

‘There are foreign forces which are encouraging this sort of violence in the streets with the aim of destabilising Hong Kong, sowing chaos… to wipe out the historic progress made since the one-country-two-systems policy was applied,’ China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told AFP on Monday.

Such action will never succeed,’ he added, insisting that the Hong Kong government would be able to re-establish ‘social order and respect for the rule of law’.

With ‘support from Beijing, Hong Kong will continue to apply the one-country-two-systems formula’, Wang stressed.

Wang also took aim at foreign media, complaining that some of them ‘call this violence democratic and peaceful, in total disregard to reality’.

Riot police fire tear gas during a pro-democracy demonstrator in Yuen Long district of Hong Kong on Monday night

These media outlets ‘do not hesitate to describe the actions of the police as violence. If such allegations can be perceived as reality, how can we imagine that there is still justice in this world?’

On Monday, tens of thousands joined an unauthorised but peaceful afternoon rally which quickly descended into chaos as small groups of hardcore protesters threw petrol bombs and rocks at a police station, mainland China businesses and multiple subway station entrances. 

The clashes in the Yuen Long neighbourhood came a day after widespread violence in which tens of thousands marched through Kowloon district and hardcore activists threw petrol bombs at police, torched metro entrances and trashed shops. 

Police ordered protesters to disperse, at one stage rushing them and detaining one person. Scuffles broke out between pro-Beijing supporters and protesters and angry residents emerged from apartments to jeer officers, calling them ‘black police’.

A journalist films a riot police officer charge towards protesters during a clash on the street of Yuen Long

A riot police officer drags a protester across the street by the scruff of his shirt last night

A demonstrator runs away from tear gas filling the air during last night’s violent demonstration

A riot police officer with the Chinese flag proudly displayed on the back of his helmet

A police statement said police resorted to tear gas after some protesters hurled ‘hard objects’ at them and vandalised bank facilities in the vicinity. It urged residents to stay indoors, keep windows closed and avoid local streets.

After a few hours most protesters had scattered but police remained on the streets in force, occasionally firing tear gas at small groups and chasing down individuals. A few masked protesters taunted police but quickly disappeared up side streets when officers approached.

Elsewhere in the city, protesters staged peaceful sit-ins at five metro stations.

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