20 October 2016

Chinese video revives accusations of US inciting HK independence

Chinese netizens are reacting to a state-sponsored video purporting to show US role in inciting independence for Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The footage shows scenes in which Beijing tries to link Washington to alleged pro-independence activities by US “surrogates”, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

One clip shows student activist Joshua Wong, secretary general of the newly formed Demosistō party.

Some mainland netizens took to social media to denounce the video, calling it an attempt to instill Beijing’s political ideology in people’s minds.

Wong, 19, who played a key role in the 2014 democracy protests, said he has never advocated independence.

The video was produced by a Beijing media company with alleged ties to the Chinese military and uploaded to the Weibo accounts of the Communist Youth League and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

It begins with scenes of refugees in the Middle East and Europe and goes on to blame their suffering on US intervention in domestic politics.

The clip accuses the US of using surrogates to help Hong Kong and Taiwan achieve independence and destabilize China.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Wong are mentioned in the video which compares recent events in Hong Kong and Taiwan to those that sparked “color revolutions” in Egypt and Ukraine.

Wong is shown on a hunger strike during the 2014 street protests.

Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement, triggered by a controversial cross-strait trade agreement, figures prominently in the clip.

A photo shows Tsai holding former President Lee Teng-hui, long regarded by Beijing as a traitor.

Political commentator Willy Lam told Apple Daily that the “patriotic” video was intended to mislead the public and divert attention from Beijing’s economic woes and political missteps such as a rebuke from an international tribunal over its claims in the South China Sea.

Ma Ngok, a professor in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said Beijing has been highly sensitive to the so-called “color revolution”, worried that it might reach China.

Ngok said Demosistō is being targeted by Beijing for supporting self-determination for Hong Kong, adding Chinese officials have already decided the party is calling for independence.

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