"Do not interfere with China's internal affairs in any form, do not support any illegal, violent acts, do not send wrong signals"
China has labeled western criticisms over Hong Kong protests as ‘hypocritical’, whilst the city’s leader Carrie Lam condemned the 'extremely violent' protests that saw demonstrators break into the Legislative Council and raise the former British colonial flag.
Speaking on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang responded to Western leaders who expressed support for Hong Kong’s opposition protests, he said; "In the face of violent acts, those comments did not condemn such moves but instead, gesticulated at it, that's extremely hypocritical and ugly...We hope relevant countries act cautiously. Do not interfere with China's internal affairs in any form, do not support any illegal, violent acts, do not send wrong signals, and do not make any wrong moves".
Echoing those sentiments, Hu Xijin, Editor of the Communist Party’s English language outlet, The Global Times, replied via Twitter to US speaker Nancy Pelosi who praised the Hong Kong opposition Hu Xijin said; “Senator Pelosi, if people violently storm Capitol Hill and smash things inside, would you praise them for "inspiring the world"?”
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam also joined in the chorus of condemnation of the violence that saw opposition protesters using trolleys and iron poles to shatter glass so as to illegally enter the legislative council building. Lam described the events as “extremely violent” as well as “heartbreaking and shocking”.
Carrie Lam is the first female leader of Hong Kong and received backing from Beijing in the face of opposition protests against the controversial extradition law.
The day before the protests, Hong Kong saw large rallies in support of Carrie Lam, in which Chinese flags were waved, as an expression of support for the ‘one country, two systems’ policy that recognizes Hong Kong as Chinese.
The current opposition protests broke out after Hong Kong agreed to an extradition law that would allow Hong Kong residents to be sent to China to face charges if they had committed a crime in the mainland. The opposition say that this could be used to extradite people for political charges. But the law only applies to criminal cases, and was proposed after a Hong Kong resident killed his pregnant partner in Taiwan, but could not be brought to face charges there. Beijing doesn’t want Hong Kong to become a safe haven for criminals fleeing justice for crimes they perpetrated in China.