Hong Kong Chaos Sliding into Terrorism, May Bring on Beijing Intervention
12 August 2019
EIRNS—The chaos of the past two months in Hong Kong is now reaching the point of terrorism and destruction of the city’s role in global commerce and travel. The protesters’ occupation of Hong Kong International Airport, which was originally announced to be confined from Friday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 11, and without blocking passengers or staff, continued on Monday morning (Aug. 12) as thousands of demonstrators, mostly youth, filled the terminal. The airport was shut down as of 4:00 p.m. and all flights were cancelled, other than those already in the air bound for Hong Kong. About 180 flights were cancelled, at least until Aug. 13.
The rioters themselves began to flee the airport in the afternoon, leaving only a few hundred there. This may have been caused by a video posted on all the major Chinese websites showing armored personnel carriers and troop trucks lining up on the Shenzhen side of the border, with China’s People’s Armed Police (PAP) forces. The Beijing government announced that they were there for a scheduled exercise, but the message was clear.
A spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Yang Guang, on Monday strongly condemned the acts of a “very small number of rioters in Hong Kong who on Sunday hurled petrol bombs at the police, causing injuries,” Xinhua reported. “We express extreme anger and strong condemnation against such atrocious and reckless acts of severe crime,” Yang said. He said the rioters had “vandalized public property, blocked roads, besieged police stations, aimed laser beams toward police officers and also hurled bricks to attack them.... We appeal to all members of the public to say no to violence to help the community to restore order as soon as possible.”
A Xinhua editorial for Tuesday states: “With petrol bombs, brick-firing slingshots, bows, and even airguns, black-clad mobsters have created an atmosphere of terror on the Hong Kong streets.”
Beijing has consistently made clear that, if the Hong Kong police are unable to stop the violence, they would be compelled to send support, as the sovereign. The “One Country, Two Systems” agreement does not mean that the intentional destruction of one part of “One Country” can be ignored. The fact that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington proudly spent $1.7 million over the past three years training many of the people now committing acts of violence in the streets is not missed by the Chinese nation’s leaders.
The organizers of the riots have issued five demands, making clear that this is a color revolution, aiming to rip up the Basic Law and break Hong Kong from China—which will never be accepted in Beijing. Their demands: stop the extradition law (which has already been dropped, long ago); stop any reference to the rioters as “rioters”; drop all charges against those who committed crimes during the riots; form an “independent” committee (like the NED perhaps?) to investigate police violence; and, the clincher, impose universal sufferage for the 2020 elections. This last is explicitly a breach of the Basic Law.