Conflicts between Hong Kong and the mainland are only “sporadic and non-mainstream”, a commentator in the Communist Party’s official newspaper says.
The remarks, published in Monday’s overseas version of the People’s Daily, came after a barrage of criticism over a break-in by Hong Kong pro-independence activists at the People’s Liberation Army barracks in Admiralty last month.
Former Basic Law Committee member Professor Wang Zhenmin had last Tuesday called for the implementation of the draconian Article 23 national security laws in the wake of the break-in.
Last Friday, the PLA also staged its first air-and-sea drill of the year across Victoria Harbour in a move seen as a warning to protesters and to the emerging Occupy Central movement.
On Monday, without mentioning specific events, People’s Daily commentator Lian Jintian wrote that “speaking overall, the problems and conflicts that had emerged earlier … were only sporadic and non-mainstream”.
“Technically, effective measures can be implemented to solve the problem,” he wrote. “[But] Hongkongers should clearly note that some political forces tend to politicise … and exaggerate things deliberately.”
Rather than intentionally blowing up matters, Lian wrote, “the approach to handle Hong Kong affairs should be to stay rational, friendly and pragmatic”.
“There should be no exaggeration or [insults], which could hurt each others’ feelings,” he added.
The commentary, which called for “even closer ties” between Hong Kong and the mainland, was published in a full-page feature about the central government’s food export and economic policies for Hong Kong.
The overseas version of the People’s Daily runs a “Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau” page from Mondays to Thursdays.