Hong Kong protests: Beijing reaffirms support for Carrie Lam and police at second press conference, rules out need to mobilise PLA

Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office says lack of national education partly to blame for current unrest

Kelly Ho |

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Yang Guang (L) and Xu Luying (R), spokespeople of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council, holds a press conference to address the recent protests.

The mainland reaffirmed its “resolute support” for Hong Kong government in handling the city’s spiralling political crisis, and condemned protester’s radical actions on Tuesday.

The press conference was held by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, which is under the State Council. It came one day after Monday’s large-scale general strike and citywide rallies across seven districts.

The office spokesperson Yang Guang reiterated the central government’s backing of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her government in managing the current crisis sparked off by the proposed extradition bill.

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Guang said the movement in Hong Kong has harmed the city’s economy and severely disrupted social order. He also slammed protesters who used the protest chant “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, saying they are blatantly challenging the basis of “One Country, Two Systems”.

“Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, so what do you want to liberate?” he asked.

Anti-government protesters set a fire at Sha Tin Police Station in the wake of a citywide strike on August 5.
Photo: Felix Wong/SCMP

Yang also warned lawbreakers to not underestimate the “resolute determination” and “massive power” of the central government and people of the nation in safeguarding Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and defending the country’s fundamental interests.

In response to youth participation in the movement, another spokesperson Xu Luying put blame on teachers and parents for allowing teenagers to attend protests and demonstrations. She believes the movement has revealed the lack of national education in Hong Kong, and there is a need to strengthen patriotism among youths, and enhance their knowledge of Chinese history and culture. “Learning to love their country should be the first lesson in school,” said Xu. “Hong Kong’s youth is China’s youth. They are the future of Hong Kong, and the future of China.”

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Meanwhile, three protesters organised a “civil press conference” yesterday morning in the hope of counteracting what they see as the government’s one-sided account of the protests and clashes broadcasted by mainstream media.

The spokespersons, who emphasised they do not represent all protesters, urged the government to respond to the five main demands directly and return the governing power to the people, as well as to allow Hong Kong to enjoy an independent judiciary and freedom of speech.