As Sophia Yan and Roland Oliphant of The Telegraph reports, three senior Hong Kong police officers held a small roundtable with foreign media and said some things that contradicted official statements from mainland Chinese authorities.
On the question of whether there was foreign funding behind the protests, one senior police official replied, according to The Telegraph, “From the operational angle, I cannot see that at this stage.”
Also, the three police officers said, as described by The Telegraph, “they weren’t aware of plans for Chinese forces to snuff out mass demonstrations in the city, and denied rumours that mainland police were already working in the city.”
The remarks from Hong Kong police directly contradict Beijing’s claims that unidentified foreign forces, deemed ‘black hands,’ are fomenting protests in the city that form the most serious political crisis since the former British colony was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Still, Beijing is sticking to its “black hands” conspiracy theory. Here is a particularly tinfoil hat piece of propaganda from the Global Times, using clips that are not from this year’s protests:
When Hong Kong youngsters were incited to protest on the street, ringleaders who are messing Hong Kong up were enjoying dinner with their foreign ‘advisors’ to further scheme the Hong Hong riots. Watch the video and as they are unmasked.
When #HongKong youngsters were incited to protest on the street, ringleaders who are messing Hong Kong up were enjoying dinner with their foreign "advisors" to further scheme the Hong Hong riots. Watch the video and as they are unmasked. #香港 pic.twitter.com/bVqpwbKiHt
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 15, 2019
“Terrorism”has been adopted as a regular description of the protesters by state media: Brutalities at Hong Kong airport resemble acts of terrorism, Xinhua News Agency said yesterday.
Beijing is dangling economic incentives, judging from this Global Times piece: “The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) unveiled an economic package worth HK$19.1 billion ($2.44 billion) on Thursday to bolster the city’s enterprises and residents to cushion the impact of recent unrest as well as external pressure.”
I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a “tough business.” I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019
Or better yet, ignore all of it.
“The police have barred a prominent organiser of Hong Kong rallies from holding a march on Sunday, saying the group could not ensure public safety given the escalating violence at recent protests,” reports the South China Morning Post. “This is the first time the Civil Human Rights Front, which leads the annual pro-democracy march on July 1 and drew a turnout of two million for a protest June, has had its protest plans banned.”
Finally, here’s a good roundup of reaction and analysis to recent events in Hong on China Digital Times: Anger and introspection follow assaults by HK protesters.