‘We’ll grind you up and crush your bones’: Tough talk from China’s leader

Domestic News

A tweet from Chinese nationalist rag Global Times:

— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) October 14, 2019

Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 made these remarks during a meeting with Nepal’s prime minister, according to the foreign ministry and Agence France-Presse. The phrase Xi used was 粉身碎骨 fěnshēn suìgǔ — literally, “split apart the body and break the bones into fragments,” or “grind you up and crush your bones.”

Xi’s bloody-sounding words have been widely reported by Chinese-language media in and outside the P.R.C. — Google returns hundreds of relevant results about Xi if you search for 粉身碎骨. It’s unclear if the word choice was an intentional warning: The last reported use of the phrase by Xi was in a propaganda piece about how he and the ideal Communist Party member would be willing to be ground up and crushed to serve the Party.

It’s worth pointing out that the majority of protesters are not calling for independence, nor is it one of their five key demands. Some of them are, however, getting increasingly violent.

“A homemade bomb was detonated in Hong Kong on Sunday amid violent protests,” according to the New York Times:

The device was hidden in a bush and was activated by a mobile phone as a police vehicle passed nearby in the Mong Kok district of Kowloon… The bomb caused no damage or injuries, but it was the first time such a device had been employed in weeks of clashes…

In another indication of the rising violence, an officer was stabbed in the neck by a demonstrator on Sunday. The police said on Monday that veins in the officer’s neck had been severed, and that he had undergone surgery and was in serious condition.

“The violence appears to have done little to dent mainstream support,” according to Agence France-Presse:

Political analyst Dixon Sing said this was because neither Beijing nor Hong Kong’s government have given protesters any incentives to de-escalate after four months of wielding a stick and offering few carrots…

“The increase in violence of the police has been a major factor in not detracting the overall support for the protesters, including those increasingly militant and violent attacks,” he added.

“A driver for Now TV was hit by a police projectile outside Mong Kok police station on Sunday before being detained and beaten by officers inside, according to the broadcaster,” reports the Hong Kong Free Press. “Protesters were throwing petrol bombs at the station throughout the night as vehicles for local broadcasters were parked nearby.”

Protests continued yesterday. “Tens of thousands of Hong Kong protesters — some waving American flags — filled a downtown park and spilled onto nearby roads on Monday evening, urging U.S. congressmen to pass a bill that would sanction and penalize Chinese and Hong Kong officials deemed to have acted against the city’s democratic freedoms,” reports the South China Morning Post.

Also today, “more than 100 students and alumni formed a human chain to protest against a “black mask ban” at a secondary school, ignoring the Education Bureau chief’s warning last week that such acts “could constitute unlawful assembly,” says the South China Morning Post.

Finally, “looks like there will be a rally Tuesday night in Hong Kong is support of Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey whose tweet in support of Hong Kong protests brought Beijing’s ire on the NBA,” according to the internet.