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Global Times

Double standards on violence in Hong Kong slammed

Global Times

By Chen Qingqing and Yang Sheng in Hong Kong Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/4 23:38:40 Last Updated: 2019/7/5 0:44:59

Foreign reports on HK seriously biased: ambassador

A semblance of calm descended on downtown Hong Kong on Thursday as curious citizens visited the Legislative Council, or LegCo, to check out the damage wrought by radical protesters.

A group of anti-extradition bill activists outside the building defended the violent protesters who on Monday vandalized the legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The root cause of the overall movement needed to be understood, they insisted to the Global Times.

Even as the Hong Kong public strongly condemned the violence, some Western media ignored the silent majority.

Supporters of extreme protesters argued that their motives should be taken into account as they believed they were fighting for democracy and freedom.

Chinese mainland officials denounced the Western media's coverage of Hong Kong protests as unbalanced in support of the radicals.

Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming said at a press conference on Wednesday that many foreign media, especially British media outlets, have made a great amount of reports over the storming of LegCo, but to be frank, some reports were seriously biased and even vicious slanders, according to the website of the Chinese Embassy in the UK.

Reports by Western media, including the BBC, CNN and the New York Times, heavily tilted toward pro-West opposition groups and their supporters and tried to let them justify the violent storming of LegCo.

When a CNN reporter interviewed Alan Hoo, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Liberal Party, on Monday, the reporter continually asked, "Why did the police, why did the police, Alan, allow this to happen?" and "Why haven't they contained the situation?" The reporter acknowledged the incident was vandalism.

Tian Feilong, an associate professor at Beihang University in Beijing and a Hong Kong expert, told the Global Times on Thursday that this interview style was trying to make the interviewee defend the protesters and blame the police.

That was "truly nonsense, because even if there were no police that night, no one has the right to smash anything in the building." Tian said.

To support the protesters making trouble for the Hong Kong regional government and the central government, Tian said, "some biased people are losing their basic judgment of right and wrong."

Outside the LegCo complex, some foreign journalists even told the Global Times they still have "sympathy" for this motive as the young protesters had no other choice but to storm the symbol of a rules-based society.

But when the Global Times reporters asked if the radicals should be released and pardoned, British journalist "Ally," who didn't give his full name, said if this happened to Parliament in London, "they will be charged and have criminal records which could make their lives really hard."

Ally also said that if the anti-extradition bill protesters kept up the violence, they would make their stance less convincing and lose support.

Double standards

The biased reporting also hindered ordinary Hong Kong residents from making a correct judgment of the violent demonstration.

Outside the LegCo building on Thursday afternoon, several middle-aged local residents had a verbal spat with a woman supporting violent protesters.

The residents came out in support of lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, a harsh critic of mob-like behavior by the protesters.

They were verbally attacked by the woman, who claimed the protesters had merely fallen into a trap set by authorities.

"Those radical young protesters are brainwashed, ruthless. They are not only ruining themselves, but the future of the Hong Kong people," Leung told the Global Times on Thursday.

She noted that the police restrained themselves, hoping to reduce confrontation.

"If this happened in Western countries, the police would immediately take action," Leung said.

"The reason for Hong Kong's success today is rule of law. Without that, we won't have such a high degree of autonomy and freedom," Leung said.

Chinese mainland officials lambasted comments made by Western politicians on the Hong Kong protests.

"If the violent impact on LegCo happened in the US or Europe, how will they react?" Geng Shuang, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, noting that it was extremely hypocritical for them not to oppose or reprimand violence in Hong Kong.

In a press briefing on Thursday outside LegCo, Leung Kwan-yuen, president of LegCo, said that some government documents were stolen and the database, fire alarm and voting systems inside the building were damaged.

There would be no meetings, including meetings on fiscal issues and panel discussions from now untill September, Leung said, and the legislature is expected to be restored in October.

During the press conference, protesters made loud noises and shouted Cantonese curse words at Leung, a politician targeted by pro-West opposition groups and anti-extradition bill protesters.

Some reporters also appeared offended by the activists' interruptions. One young Hong Kong journalist even quarreled with them.

When pro-West legislators spoke to the press, the same activists fell totally silent.

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