The Chinese government has come out in strong support of the Hong Kong leadership, saying it has full faith in chief executive, Leung Chun-ying and indicating that he will not be asked to step down.
A front page editorial in the People’s Daily, the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) official newspaper, said the government was very satisfied with Leung’s performance. The editorial warned of “unimaginable consequences” if the protests continued. “The central government is full of confidence in Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying [CY Leung], and is completely satisfied with his performance,” it said.
Beijing “will thus continue to strongly support Mr Leung's leadership of Hong Kong's legal administration as well as the police's handling of illegal activities,” it added. One of the main demands of the Occupy Central protesters – who have been camping on Hong Streets for days now – is that Leung resigns from his post. They have threatened to occupy central Hong Kong buildings by late tonight, if does not resign.
But Thursday’s editorial makes it more or less clear that Beijing will not ask him to put in his papers; if it does, it would probably mean some amount of loss of face for the Communist Party. “Occupy Central” will have negative consequences for Hong Kong and all its people. If it continues, these consequences will be unimaginable,” the editorial said.
“They have incited the masses, paralysed transportation, disrupted businesses, stirred up conflict, and interfered with the daily lives of Hong Kong people,” it said about protesters. “This has gone so far as to threaten people’s safety, as well as their property. These activists ought to be held legally responsible for this unlawful behavior,” it added. The newspaper said the protests have hit hard the financial hub economically.
“Occupy Central has undermined Hong Kong’s unwavering prosperity. The vast majority of people in Hong Kong agree that economic growth and the improvement of people’s livelihoods are the most important challenges facing them today. But “Occupy Central” tosses aside economic growth and people’s wellbeing, and does immediate damage.
It’s not fair that Hong Kong’s stock market tumbles day after day, with financial institutions being forced to temporarily shut down some operations” said the editorial. Meanwhile, a rights group said Wednesday that dozens of activists supporting the movement in Hong Kong have been arrested on the Mainland.
“A number of Chinese citizens have faced reprisals for supporting the protests for universal suffrage in Hong Kong… Police in China have harassed and warned activists in many cities, concerned that they may try to travel to Hong Kong or take to streets to protest,” the group Chinese Human Rights Defenders said in a statement on Wednesday.