The regime of Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping has vowed to crack down on what it said are “deranged” protesters in Hong Kong and pledged to do so “without leniency” and “without mercy.”
Activists protesting what they say is the communist regime’s increasingly heavy-handed rule over the autonomous territory paralyzed Hong Kong’s international airport on Aug. 12 and Aug. 13, packing into terminals. The protests on Aug. 12 forced airport officials to cancel all flights for much of the day.
The Center for Security Policy has called upon President Donald Trump to endorse “deterrent measures” proposed by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican.
Cotton warned Beijing that a violent crackdown on protesters would create “an irreparable breach in the relationship between the United States and China.”
“If that were to happen, I would suggest we take the kind of actions that we ought to have taken 30 years ago after the Tiananmen Square massacre – halting trade negotiations, sanctioning senior Communist Party officials, revoking their visas, kicking them out of international organizations, and reconsidering the Hong Kong Policy Act,” Cotton said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt.
Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Chinese government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said: “Radical Hong Kong protesters have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers.”
“The first signs of terrorism are starting to appear,” Yang told a news briefing on Aug. 12, according to Chinese state media.
Xi’s regime expressed “intense condemnation” for what it called “deranged and severe criminal activities committed without regard for the consequences,” Yang said. The protesters, Yang said, would be severely punished, “without leniency, without mercy.”
Chinese state-run media have accused the U.S. of supporting the protesters.
A video posted on Twitter shows pro-democracy supporters in Hong Kong waving the American flag and singing the American National Anthem.
Related: American flag embraced by Hong Kong protesters as U.S. tracks Chinese troop movements, August 1, 2019
On Aug. 13, thousands of black-clad protesters jammed the Hong Kong International airport terminal, chanting, singing and waving banners, Reuters reported.
“Floors and walls were covered with missives penned by activists and other artwork. Initially, the scene was peaceful as knots of protesters spoke to travelers, explaining their aims,” the report said.
One protest banner at the airport read: “Sorry for the inconvenience, we are fighting for the future of our home.”
“I think paralyzing the airport will be effective in forcing (Hong Kong Chief Executive) Carrie Lam to respond to us … it can further pressure Hong Kong’s economy,” said Dorothy Cheng, 17.
Lam said at a news conference: “Take a minute to look at our city, our home. Can we bear to push it into the abyss and see it smashed to pieces?”
Yang called on Hong Kong residents to oppose the protesters: “Hong Kong has already reached an important juncture. All the people who care about Hong Kong’s future should step firmly forward, and say no to all criminal activities and all violent elements.”
The Wall Street Journal noted that social-media accounts run by the Communist Party’s propaganda outlet, the People’s Daily, and other state news outlets published footage of Chinese paramilitary forces arriving in the southern city of Shenzhen, which abuts Hong Kong, over the weekend.
The People’s Daily, in a microblog post featuring the footage, cited a Chinese law outlining the armed police’s powers, saying the paramilitary force can be used to deal with “riots, disturbances, severe violent criminal incidents, terrorist attacks and other public security incidents.”