China backs HK chief, slams ‘local, external forces’

(171215) -- BEIJING, Dec. 15, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 15, 2017. Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is in Beijing to report the work of the SAR government to the central government. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi) (dhf)

China backs HK chief, slams ‘local, external forces’

Beijing: China on Monday voiced its support for Hong Kongs Chief Executive following massive protests against the contentious extradition bill, which the state media termed as “violent clashes” stemming from “malicious stratagem by local and external forces”.

In its editorial, the China Daily 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.

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”.

It 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.

“No foreign countries, be they the US, the UK 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.

Another official media outlet, the Global Times, said 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. 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.

The protesters again took to the Hong Kong streets on Sunday to defend their rights and liberties as well as to demand Lam’s resignation.