The Chinese Foreign Ministry railed against the United States in its Monday press conference, accusing the U.S. of “conniving with violent criminals” in Hong Kong in an “arrogant” bid to undermine China’s national unity.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying unleashed an anti-U.S. tirade after a reporter asked about U.S. politicians and Trump administration officials speaking out against the “repression” of Hong Kong protesters and refusing to accept China’s framing of their demonstrations as “riots.”
Hua leaned hard into the Chinese Communist Party line that Hong Kong’s protests have been hijacked by violent fringe separatists who are in thrall to hostile Western powers:
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 SAR 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 emblems and national flags.
Those scenes have been witnessed by people around the world. How on earth can those individuals in the US call them “peaceful demonstrations”? All people with a conscience will agree that such violent behaviors have already crossed the bottom-line of any civilized society. They crossed the line of peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression. They gravely trampled on Hong Kong’s rule of law, threatened local people’s safety and property and violated the principle of “one country, two systems”.
Such things simply cannot be tolerated. The US doesn’t mention them at all. It has turned a blind eye to the power abuse and violent law enforcement of police at home. But at the same time, it blatantly criticized and even tried to smear the professional, civilized and constrained law enforcement of Hong Kong police. This will only help the world to see how arrogant, biased, hypocritical, ruthless, selfish and bossy the US is. Is rampant violence and collapse of rule of law something the US calls “human rights and freedom”?
We again urge the US to stop conniving at violent criminals, undermining the administration by the SAR government in accordance with law and interfering in Hong Kong affairs. No one should underestimate China’s firm resolve to implement the “one country, two systems” principle and safeguard prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.
Hua looked no more kindly upon new U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s warning that Chinese aggression is disrupting the stability of the Indo-Pacific region, thundering that America has long been the party “grossly interfering in the affairs of regional countries in the Asia Pacific” and “undermining regional stability.”
Hua accused the U.S. of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia because it wants to ratchet up tensions in Asia by deploying intermediate-range missiles. On the other hand, she claimed it was “absurd” to believe China has anything but a purely “defensive” military policy, which just happens to involve littering Asia with purely defensive missiles.
Hua’s belligerence toward Hong Kong protesters was consistent with the message from Beijing that the movement has gone too far and must pull back before the communist government responds with force. Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) used a much-touted Tuesday announcement to warn that “radical demonstrations” have brought Hong Kong “to the verge of a very dangerous situation.”
The HKMAO warned protesters they are “playing with fire” and should not mistake China’s “restraint for weakness.” The office firmly stated that calls for Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing chief executive Carrie Lam to resign will “lead nowhere.”