'Don't be kidnapped by radical opposition': State media warns Hongkongers against July 1 march
Global Times says joining the annual protest will lead to 'great uncertainty' and sow divisions
State media today urged Hongkongers not to be "kidnapped" by radical opposition, as it advised that it was not in the population's best interest to take part in the July 1 march.
An opinion piece carried by the Global Times argued that “radical opposition” and “political confrontation” will only serve to divide the Hong Kong community.
Referring to the recent unofficial poll on how Hong Kong should elect its next chief executive, which drew almost 800,000 people to vote, it said any concessions by central government in Beijing would only lead to “great uncertainty” over Hong Kong.
As state mouthpieces cranked into action ahead of tomorrow's march, the People’s Daily also published an article which stated that the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by the Hong Kong does not change its legal status as a local administrative region of a unitary state.
"Hong Kong and mainland under one country, two systems, it’s difficult for the two societies to completely understand each other, but a fundamental principle is clear – that engaging in intense political confrontation is never good. It is harmful for all individuals, units, and the country involved,” the editorial declared.
It said oppositions groups were "extremists" who were "willing to sacrifice Hong Kong's prosperity for their own interests".
"Hong Kong does not have the conditions for political confrontation, but some people have become frenzied. They seem civilised and rational, but their political paranoia is about to light a fuse," the Global Times English op-ed said.
The article mentioned how people have "called for Occupy Shenzhen or Occupy Tiananmen", and that while there is no evidence linking these calls to Occupy Central, the public should be wary of how "these extreme forces are trying to mess up the country".
Organisers of this year’s July 1 protest - a rally traditionally dedicated to democracy, universal suffrage and other political concerns - are predicting that it will draw more than half a million people to the streets.
Tensions between Hong Kong and the mainland have been on the rise since the State Council published a white paper on June 10, reiterating China's control over Hong Kong.
The high degree of autonomy enjoyed by Hong Kong is subject to the central government’s authorisation, the People's Daily editorial said, echoing the contents of the white paper, which also called judges “administrators” and said they should be patriotic.
Since the paper was issued, Hong Kongers have protested against what they see as Beijing’s infringement on its Basic Law.
Anger over the white paper was the catalyst for many voters to head to the Occupy Central polls in order to voice their displeasure ahead of the march, which could also see a record number of people take to the streets.
Last week, Hong Kong lawyers marched in silence to support an independent judiciary.
"Hong Kong’s radical opposition is doing everything in its power to create a ‘chariot’ and deceive as many Hong Kongers to get on the chariot as possible.
"Its goal is the central government and the nation’s people,” the Global Times wrote in its Chinese edition.
“We urge Hong Kong citizens to not jump on this chariot, do not be kidnapped by the radical opposition, with Hong Kong’s prosperity and your well-being as their bargaining chips.”