China slams ‘terrorist-like actions’ by protesters at Hong Kong airport
China on Wednesday strongly condemned pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong for “terrorist-like” acts after two civilians, including a journalist, were assaulted late on Tuesday night.
State media arms of the Chinese government slammed the incident of assault after one of the victims was identified as a reporter with the Global Times, a tabloid affiliated with People’s Daily, which is a mouthpiece for the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
“We express the strongest condemnation of these terrorist-like actions,” Xu Luying, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council (China’s cabinet) was quoted as saying in Beijing.
Xu added that the actions “seriously damage the international image of Hong Kong, and seriously hurt the feelings of a vast number of mainland China compatriots”.
She added that “extremely abominable violent crime must be severely punished according to the law”.
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The online edition of People’s Daily released a strong editorial. “These rioters, who have thrown gasoline bombs at police, hurt tourists from the Chinese mainland, and brutally beaten this reporter, have defied every law and regulation. What they have done is appalling and intolerable,” the editorial said.
“As the old saying goes, “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. What awaits the mob is surely the punishment of the law,” it added.
The Global Times’s editorial on the incident was headlined: “Rioters call their nemesis by assaulting Global Times reporter”
“The appalling attack on Fu is a blatant violation of human rights and the rule of law. Such conduct must be severely condemned and punished in accordance with law,” the tabloid wrote.
It added: “There should be zero tolerance for violence, and mobs that engage in vandalism in defiance of law must pay the price. The Hong Kong police should fight them with an iron fist…With the rampaging rioters having crossed legal and ethical limits, voices that call for a harsh crackdown are rising. What awaits them is the long arm of the law”.
China ranks 177 among 180 countries in the latest press freedom index compiled by the Paris-based international non-profit, Reporters without Borders, released this April.
According to a March report by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, another non-profit, at least 47 journalists were then in prison in China.