Beijing backs Hong Kong authorities, slams 'local, external forces'
Protesters hold a banner with photos of Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (R) prior to a rally demanding a complete withdrawal of an extradition bill in Hong Kong, China, Jun. 16, 2019. EPA-EFE/ROMAN PILIPEY
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor gives a press conference at the Central Government Headquarters in Hong Kong, China, Jun. 15, 2019. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE
Protesters take part in a rally to demand a complete withdrawal of an extradition bill in Hong Kong, China, Jun. 16, 2019. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE
A handout photo made available by the Taiwan Citizen Front shows that students rallying to support Hong Kong people's protest against the Extradition Bill in Taipei, Taiwan, Jun. 16, 2019. EPA-EFE/TAIWAN CITIZEN FRONT / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
Beijing, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- Beijing on Monday voiced its support for Hong Kong’s chief executive following massive protests against the contentious extradition bill, which state media termed as "violent clashes" stemming from "malicious stratagem by local and external forces.”
In its editorial, state media the China Daily on Monday said that the central government "resolutely supports" Chief Executive Carrie Lam despite the protesters demanding her resignation following the suspension — rather than the withdrawal — of the legislative process of the proposed law.
National People's Congress Standing Committee member Tam Yiu-chung, who was present in a meeting with 200 local politicians, national parliamentarians and officials of the Liaison Office – the official institution representing Beijing in Hong Kong – quoted officials as saying that the central government, "supports, respects and understands Lam's decision."
According to Tam, Liaison Office director Wang Zhimin said the extradition bill is in the interest of the people of Hong Kong, but the legislative process has gone through constant interferences and has been vilified by foreign powers, the China Daily reported.
In a Sunday editorial, the daily said that the violence was “instigated by those who do not have the SAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)'s best interests at heart," and added that, "the chief executive, being head of the special administrative region, is the person ultimately responsible for implementing ‘one country, two systems,'" the principle which gives Hong Kong autonomy in areas such as law and currency to the city.
The China Daily said the bill was proposed under the "one country, two systems" principle, reinforces the judicial system of Hong Kong and that Hong Kong's cooperation on fugitive renditions to other jurisdictions is "purely an internal affair."
"No foreign countries, be they the United States, the United Kingdom or any other, have any say in the matter," said the daily.
"Indeed, their sanctimonious posturing is hypocritical given their bluster is maliciously intended and fans anti-government sentiment in Hong Kong and incites lawlessness," it added.
The editorial also said that the two governments are “worried to see young people at the forefront of the recent violent clashes as they are being used as pawns by those whose agendas do not serve their futures."
Another official media outlet, the Global Times, said on Sunday night that it sees links between the protests and China’s external affairs.
“It is no accident that the eruption has occurred in tandem with Washington's intensified drive worldwide to beat down a rising China,” the Global Times said.
"It all adds up to a malicious stratagem by local and external forces to destroy a society for their own political ends," it added.
Despite the suspension of the extradition bill, Hong Kong authorities have not been able to placate the protesters who demanded its complete withdrawal and they again took to the Hong Kong streets on Sunday to defend their rights and liberties, as well as to demand Lam's resignation.
The organizers of Sunday’s demonstrations estimate the number of protesters to be around two million people and the police placed the numbers at 338,000.
Even as Lam released a statement saying that she "pledged to adopt a most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms," she did not consider resigning from her post.