Terror signs emerging, says Beijing

Top News | Phoenix Un 13 Aug 2019

Beijing's office for Hong Kong affairs has warned that "signs of terrorism are emerging" in protesters' use of weapons in recent clashes with police.

"Radical demonstrators have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police, which already constitutes a serious violent crime, and also shows the first signs of terrorism emerging," Yang Guang, spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said in Beijing.

"This wantonly tramples on Hong Kong's rule of law and social order."

He cited protesters throwing petrol bombs into the Tsim Sha Tsui police station, injuring an officer.

"We express our extreme fury and strong condemnation of the frenzied and serious violation of laws, and our sympathy to the injured police," Yang said.

He reiterated that Hong Kong has reached "a critical point where everyone concerned about its future should stand up and say no to all crimes, and say no to all violent perpetrators."

The office called the press conference hours before it was held. No questions were entertained.

The top Beijing office in Hong Kong held a press briefing on July 29 for the first time since the handover, and a second one on August 6.

Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong also said in a statement that "a small minority of extremely violent people" used lethal weapons against police, including a "powerful shooting device" - referring to an air gun which imitates a US grenade launcher.

"Hair-raising extreme violence is not tolerated anywhere around the world. If this terror is allowed to spread, Hong Kong will plunge into a bottomless abyss," the liaison office said.

Political commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu said it was not the first time Beijing called Hong Kong protesters terrorists, as then-director of the liaison office Zhang Xiaoming called Mong Kok protesters in 2016 "radical separatists with signs of terror."

Lau added: "However [Yang] added words of struggles such as 'frenzied,' meaning Beijing has escalated the level of alert."

Democracy Camp Meetings convener Claudia Mo Man-ching said Beijing used the word "terrorism" to scare Hongkongers.

"It's designed to shock and terrorize Hong Kong in the thought the youngsters will just go back home," Mo said, adding police were more terrifying than protesters.

phoenix.un@singtaonewscorp.com

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