China state media criticize foreign ‘hypocrisy’ over Hong Kong after climbdown

June 17, 2019 - 8:22 AM
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Protesters attend a demonstration demanding Hong Kong's leaders to step down and withdraw the extradition bill, in Hong Kong, China, June 16, 2019. (Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha)

SHANGHAI — Foreign “meddling” in the affairs of Hong Kong is hypocritical and “ill-intentioned”, and Beijing will continue to back embattled chief executive Carrie Lam despite calls for her to resign, the official China Daily said on Monday.

On Saturday, Lam said a controversial bill amending Hong Kong‘s extradition law would be postponed indefinitely after a week of sometimes violent protests, and activists have called for her to step down immediately.

But China’s support for Lam will “not waver, not in the face of street violence nor the ill-intentioned interventions of foreign governments,” the paper said in an editorial.

A U.S. consulate spokesman in Hong Kong welcomed Lam’s decision and urged that the views of the domestic and international community be taken into account should her government pursue changes to extradition laws, particularly regarding mainland China.

Hong Kong‘s “fugitive rendition arrangements are purely an internal affair”, the China Daily said, however, adding that countries such as the United States or Britain should have no say in the matter.

“Indeed, their sanctimonious posturing is hypocritical, given their bluster is maliciously intended and fans anti-government sentiment in Hong Kong and incites lawlessness,” it said.

In another editorial, the state-owned Global Times tabloid warned the United States against using Hong Kong as a “bargaining chip” to force compromises in trade talks.

“The riots in Hong Kong will only consolidate Beijing’s tough stance against Washington,” it said.

Since last year, the United States and China have been embroiled in trade tension marked by tit-for-tat tariffs as Washington seeks changes to Beijing’s business policies.—Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Clarence Fernandez