China has termed the Hong Kong protesters as “political virus” and stated that the city will never be calm until “poisonous” protesters are removed who aim to “drag Hong Kong off a cliff”, reports the Guardian.
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China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office (HKMAO) recently issued a statement that asserted that China’s central government led by Xi Jinping will not sit idle “with this recklessly demented force” that aims to attain independence from Beijing.
Addressing the “if we burn, you burn with us”, mantra that gained an iconic significance, the statement named the protesters as “political virus”, who wanted to “drag Hong Kong off the cliff”.
The blame for Hong Kong’s tumbling economy, the severe economic contraction was a result of the mass protests as the statement read that there were several factors including the coronavirus pandemic, but “the biggest scourge in Hong Kong comes from within”.
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“It can be said the forces of black violence are dismantling the framework of Hong Kong’s accomplishment and security,” the statement said. It said the central government had the duty of protecting national security and the constitutional order in Hong Kong and called for prompt implementation of defunct national security laws.
Nearly a year ago, at this time, Hong Kong erupted with mass protests as critics uncovered plans to allow extradition to mainland China that could actually endanger the non-supporters of Chinese policies and threaten the judicial independence.
Since, Hong Kong was ruled by Britain as a colony until 1997 before being returned to China under a “one country, two systems” arrangement, it still enjoys a relatively more autonomy.
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With its citizens having more rights, a demand for full democracy and an inquiry into police actions was launched amid the protests in September last year. This fueled the demonstrations which took a violent turn involving police firing and petrol bombing.
The situation showed no signs of dying down and President Xi Jinping in October made an indirect comment on the raging protests and said “Anyone who attempts to split the region from China will perish, with their bodies smashed and bones ground to powder.”
It was only after the coronavirus pandemic that the fire of protests appeared to have quieted. However, at present when, the coronavirus cases have started to dwindle and Beijing is sparing no effort to secure control over the city, protesters have yet again begun their demonstrations on a small scale.
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Recently, about hundred people gathered at lunchtime in the Landmark Atrium mall in Central, a prestigious business and retail district, despite social distancing rules and protested by singing their protest anthem, “Glory to Hong Kong,” and held up signs reading “Free Hong Kong, Revolution Now” and “Hong Kong Independence.”