A front-page editorial in Wednesday’s People’s Daily, the Chinese government’s media mouthpiece, said Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters are “doomed to fail” and alluded that Hong Kong’s economy could only be held up if the protesters quit. “Anyone who cares for and loves Hong Kong to say no to such acts that aim to confuse public opinions with personal wishes,” the editorial said.
The People’s Daily is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China and relays the views of the Chinese government. Beijing has spoken out against Hong Kong’s democratic movement in People’s Daily editorials since protests began just over two weeks ago. “Stability is bliss, and turmoil brings havoc,” it added.
The editorial criticizes people who “disrupted social order, disabled traffic and harmed people’s livelihoods during protests,” and said the opposition should express their opinions “via various legal channels.” A separate, unsigned opinion piece in Wednesday’s People’s Daily pondered “How long can [Hong Kong] keep squandering?” and outlined what it sees as the “direct economic costs” Hong Kong has paid and will pay if protests continue.
“… considering the obstinacy and the ill-will of the British and American ‘players’ behind the unrest, Hong Kong is going to lose a lot more yet in this long drawn chaos,” the editorial reads. It rebukes notions that unrest in Hong Kong affects the larger Chinese economy and said any production that's lost because of the protests will shift to mainland cities.
Hong Kong’s pro-democratic demonstrators want Beijing to reverse its decision to prescreen candidates for Hong Kong’s top position, chief executive, in 2017. They point to provisions for universal suffrage in Hong Kong’s founding documents enacted 20 years ago.
Hong Kong police and protesters met in violent clashes this week, ratcheting up tensions to their highest since the protests’ first week. Police dismantled protester-built barricades, deployed pepper spray and arrested at least 45 people on Tuesday night.
Footage showing police beating and kicking Ken Tsang, a social worker and demonstrator early Wednesday morning exacerbated ill will among the ranks of protesters, who until recently have strayed away from direct physical confrontation with police. Hong Kong Police leadership said they would investigate the beating. See footage of the beating here: