It's 'anti-democracy', says People's Daily in latest commentary on Occupy Central

Communist Party's official newspaper and related website say the central government and Hong Kong's patriots are the real promoters of the city's democracy, not the protesters

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 October, 2014, 2:28pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 October, 2014, 7:01pm

Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily continued with its overbearing criticism on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests today by calling it “anti-democracy”.

The column entitled “Occupy Central is backtracking democracy” argued that a minority of people have invaded the public interest for their own political views, which tramples on the principle of democracy and can never achieve democracy using such anti-democratic tactics.

It also blamed the British rule for making Hong Kong “hostile to democracy”.

“It is unavoidable for those who jumped out to fight against Hong Kong’s democratic progress,” wrote the column. “After all, Britain’s 150-year colonial rule has planted some hostility-to-democracy seeds.”

The commentary, published on page four of today’s newspaper, is the latest in a series of harshly worded commentaries by the flagship party mouthpiece and its website. The harshest of these commentaries was written by someone with the pen name “Guoping”, which can be translated as “national peace” or "national commentary".

Two commentaries by “Guoping” were released by state media late last night, one on People’s Daily’s website and the other on the State Council Information Office’s affiliated portal.

One commentary criticised campaign participants for using “populism” to mobilise young people.

“Hong Kong belongs to seven million Hongkongers and, more so, to 1.3 billion Chinese,” the commentary said. “The central government and all countrymen’s attitude and stance [on the 2017 election for Hong Kong’s chief executive] are unprecedentedly unanimous and not to be shaken.”

In the other commentary, the writer criticised “street politics” and said it would not succeed in changing the bottom line: that whoever governs Hong Kong must be “loyal to the state and to Hong Kong”.

Yesterday, the newspaper published a commentary written by Zhi Zhenfeng, an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, that said democracy should be promoted by calm and rational discussion and guided by the rule of law.

“Occupy Central runs counter to the mainstream opinion of people in Hong Kong. It intensifies the polarisation of Hong Kong society and tears apart the consensus reached among different sectors of society,” the commentary said.

The protest “adds to rather than reduces the difficulties in the democratic process in Hong Kong. It obstructs rather than promotes the city’s democratic process.”

The central government and patriotic people in Hong Kong were the real promoters of the city’s democracy, the commentary said, and the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s guidelines for the election of the city’s chief executive in 2017, released on August 31, reflected Beijing’s sincerity towards the city’s democratic development.