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Hong Kong protests: China releases dramatic army propaganda video Hong Kong protests: China releases dramatic army propaganda video
(12 days later)
China has released a dramatic video showing off its army’s capabilities as the head of the armed forces in Hong Kong said the unrest in the province had seriously threatened the life and safety” of the people and should not be tolerated.China has released a dramatic video showing off its army’s capabilities as the head of the armed forces in Hong Kong said the unrest in the province had seriously threatened the life and safety” of the people and should not be tolerated.
The commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong warned it was “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the prosperity of Hong Kong”.The commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong warned it was “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the prosperity of Hong Kong”.
The remarks were made by Chen Daoxiang on Wednesday at a reception celebrating the 92nd anniversary of the PLA. They came the day after 43 protesters were charged with rioting and released on bail. Some of those charged were as young as 16 and included a Cathay Pacific pilot.The remarks were made by Chen Daoxiang on Wednesday at a reception celebrating the 92nd anniversary of the PLA. They came the day after 43 protesters were charged with rioting and released on bail. Some of those charged were as young as 16 and included a Cathay Pacific pilot.
Anger as Hong Kong protesters appear in court on rioting chargesAnger as Hong Kong protesters appear in court on rioting charges
The PLA chief also gave his “firm” support to Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, as well as to to the Hong Kong police force for “rigorously enforcing the law”.The PLA chief also gave his “firm” support to Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, as well as to to the Hong Kong police force for “rigorously enforcing the law”.
At the reception, the PLA released a video showcasing the army. In one scene, an anti-riot drill was shown where ranks of marching soldiers holding riot shields advanced and fired on fleeing “citizens”. The scene included footage of tanks rolling in, water cannon being used, and “handcuffed” citizens being led away.At the reception, the PLA released a video showcasing the army. In one scene, an anti-riot drill was shown where ranks of marching soldiers holding riot shields advanced and fired on fleeing “citizens”. The scene included footage of tanks rolling in, water cannon being used, and “handcuffed” citizens being led away.
A soldier was seen shouting in Cantonese, the language spoken in Hong Kong rather than mainland China: “All consequences are at your own risk.”A soldier was seen shouting in Cantonese, the language spoken in Hong Kong rather than mainland China: “All consequences are at your own risk.”
The commander’s intervention came as first chief executive of Hong Kong, Tung Chee-hwa, accused the US and Taiwan of orchestrating the protests that have rocked the former British colony for eight weeks.The commander’s intervention came as first chief executive of Hong Kong, Tung Chee-hwa, accused the US and Taiwan of orchestrating the protests that have rocked the former British colony for eight weeks.
Tung claimed that “foreign politicians and anti-China forces with ulterior motives” were working “to incite the fear of the people of Hong Kong and undermine the relationship between the mainland and Hong Kong”. He warned Hong Kong people against “being used”.Tung claimed that “foreign politicians and anti-China forces with ulterior motives” were working “to incite the fear of the people of Hong Kong and undermine the relationship between the mainland and Hong Kong”. He warned Hong Kong people against “being used”.
Tung, who is a vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, also gave his support to the Hong Kong authorities in “defending the rule of law and taking decisive measures to restore social order”, adding that they have “already heard the voice of the public”.Tung, who is a vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, also gave his support to the Hong Kong authorities in “defending the rule of law and taking decisive measures to restore social order”, adding that they have “already heard the voice of the public”.
The protests were triggered by a controversial bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where the Communist party controls the courts, but have since evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement.The protests were triggered by a controversial bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, where the Communist party controls the courts, but have since evolved into a broader pro-democracy movement.
Public anger – fuelled by the aggressive tactics used by the police against demonstrators – has collided with years of frustration over worsening inequality and the cost of living in one of the world's most expensive, densely populated cities.Public anger – fuelled by the aggressive tactics used by the police against demonstrators – has collided with years of frustration over worsening inequality and the cost of living in one of the world's most expensive, densely populated cities.
The protest movement was given fresh impetus on 21 July when gangs of men attacked protesters and commuters at a mass transit station – while authorities seemingly did little to intervene. The protest movement was given fresh impetus on 21 July when gangs of men attacked protesters and commuters at a mass transit station – while authorities seemingly did little to intervene. 
Underlying the movement is a push for full democracy in the city, whose leader is chosen by a committee dominated by a pro-Beijing establishment rather than by direct elections.Underlying the movement is a push for full democracy in the city, whose leader is chosen by a committee dominated by a pro-Beijing establishment rather than by direct elections.
Protesters have vowed to keep their movement going until their core demands are met, such as the resignation of the city's leader, Carrie Lam, an independent inquiry into police tactics, an amnesty for those arrested and a permanent withdrawal of the bill. Protesters have vowed to keep their movement going until their core demands are met, such as the resignation of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam, an independent inquiry into police tactics, an amnesty for those arrested and a permanent withdrawal of the bill.
Hongkongers have seen Beijing’s influence grow in recent years, as activists have been jailed and pro-democracy lawmakers disqualified from running or holding office. Independent booksellers have disappeared from the city, before reappearing in mainland China facing charges. Beijing’s influence over Hong Kong has grown in recent years, as activists have been jailed and pro-democracy lawmakers disqualified from running or holding office. Independent booksellers have disappeared from the city, before reappearing in mainland China facing charges.
Under the terms of the agreement by which the former British colony was returned to Chinese control in 1997, the semi-autonomous region was meant to maintain a “high degree of autonomy” through an independent judiciary, a free press and an open market economy, a framework known as “one country, two systems”.Under the terms of the agreement by which the former British colony was returned to Chinese control in 1997, the semi-autonomous region was meant to maintain a “high degree of autonomy” through an independent judiciary, a free press and an open market economy, a framework known as “one country, two systems”.
The extradition bill was seen as an attempt to undermine this and to give Beijing the ability to try pro-democracy activists under the judicial system of the mainland.The extradition bill was seen as an attempt to undermine this and to give Beijing the ability to try pro-democracy activists under the judicial system of the mainland.
Lam has shown no sign of backing down beyond agreeing to suspend the extradition bill, while Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations but has left it to the city's semi-autonomous government to deal with the situation. Meanwhile police have violently clashed directly with protesters, repeatedly firing teargas and rubber bullets.Lam has shown no sign of backing down beyond agreeing to suspend the extradition bill, while Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations but has left it to the city's semi-autonomous government to deal with the situation. Meanwhile police have violently clashed directly with protesters, repeatedly firing teargas and rubber bullets.
Beijing has ramped up its accusations that foreign countries are “fanning the fire” of unrest in the city. China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi has ordered the US to “immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form”.Beijing has ramped up its accusations that foreign countries are “fanning the fire” of unrest in the city. China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi has ordered the US to “immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form”.
Lily Kuo and Verna Yu in Hong KongLily Kuo and Verna Yu in Hong Kong
The remarks of both the PLA chief and Tung reiterated Beijing’s position and the rhetoric it has used throughout the protests with its backing of the Hong Kong authorities, the claims that foreign forces are intervening, and the condemnation of the increasingly violent protests.The remarks of both the PLA chief and Tung reiterated Beijing’s position and the rhetoric it has used throughout the protests with its backing of the Hong Kong authorities, the claims that foreign forces are intervening, and the condemnation of the increasingly violent protests.
The PLA chief’s remarks will further stoke fears that the Chinese army may intervene in the protests. Last week, an official from the Chinese defence ministry said Beijing could legally intervene should the Hong Kong government ask for help “in maintaining social order”.The PLA chief’s remarks will further stoke fears that the Chinese army may intervene in the protests. Last week, an official from the Chinese defence ministry said Beijing could legally intervene should the Hong Kong government ask for help “in maintaining social order”.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that a senior US official said that the White House was monitoring a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border. An analyst said that it was possible that they were simply observing a police swearing-in ceremony.Bloomberg reported yesterday that a senior US official said that the White House was monitoring a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border. An analyst said that it was possible that they were simply observing a police swearing-in ceremony.
“The PLA comments are part of psychological warfare against Hong Kongers,” said Andreas Fulda, a China researcher at the University of Nottingham, adding that he believed it to be highly unlikely the Chinese army would intervene to avoid “a protracted urban armed conflict”.“The PLA comments are part of psychological warfare against Hong Kongers,” said Andreas Fulda, a China researcher at the University of Nottingham, adding that he believed it to be highly unlikely the Chinese army would intervene to avoid “a protracted urban armed conflict”.
“Any military deployment in Hong Kong will also lead to internal disagreements within the Chinese Communist Party,” he said, adding that the city is an important financial hub for the party.“Any military deployment in Hong Kong will also lead to internal disagreements within the Chinese Communist Party,” he said, adding that the city is an important financial hub for the party.
Hong Kong is in its eighth consecutive weeks of protests, which were sparked by a proposed extradition bill that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China. Public anger has mounted over the excessive use of force by the police, which is being investigated by the city’s corruption watchdog over accusations that it failed to protect the public when masked thugs attacked protesters and train passengers earlier this month in Yuen Long.Hong Kong is in its eighth consecutive weeks of protests, which were sparked by a proposed extradition bill that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China. Public anger has mounted over the excessive use of force by the police, which is being investigated by the city’s corruption watchdog over accusations that it failed to protect the public when masked thugs attacked protesters and train passengers earlier this month in Yuen Long.
Hundreds of people who work in the financial industry gathered in the heart of the city on Thursday to express their support for the movement. They were also protesting the Hong Kong police’s use of violence and their failure to protect citizens from the thug attack earlier this month. The city is a global financial hub and it is rare for those in the industry to speak up about political matters, particularly when it comes to Beijing.Hundreds of people who work in the financial industry gathered in the heart of the city on Thursday to express their support for the movement. They were also protesting the Hong Kong police’s use of violence and their failure to protect citizens from the thug attack earlier this month. The city is a global financial hub and it is rare for those in the industry to speak up about political matters, particularly when it comes to Beijing.
There are protests planned for the next two weeks. This weekend, civil servants have planned a peaceful rally for Friday, while marches have been scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday across the territory. A general city-wide strike has been called for Monday, backed by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.There are protests planned for the next two weeks. This weekend, civil servants have planned a peaceful rally for Friday, while marches have been scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday across the territory. A general city-wide strike has been called for Monday, backed by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.
The police denied the application made by the organizers of Saturday’s protest, in effect banning the march – the third time the police have banned a protest since the unrest began in June.The police denied the application made by the organizers of Saturday’s protest, in effect banning the march – the third time the police have banned a protest since the unrest began in June.
Law enforcement swept in quickly to clear the last two banned demonstrations, using tear gas and rubber bullets to the condemnation of Amnesty International. After the police denied permission for a protest that occurred last week, the human rights organization said that “for police to declare [the] protest unlawful was simply wrong under international law”.Law enforcement swept in quickly to clear the last two banned demonstrations, using tear gas and rubber bullets to the condemnation of Amnesty International. After the police denied permission for a protest that occurred last week, the human rights organization said that “for police to declare [the] protest unlawful was simply wrong under international law”.
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