China’s media apparatus has adopted a harsher tone on demonstrators calling for democracy in Hong Kong, labeling them “mobsters” on Tuesday, August 13th AFP reported.
China’s state-controlled media said their demands must never be met and warned that government security forces may be called to suppress them.
Rejection of an extradition law in-the-making prompted two months of unrest that have become a push, that Bejing calls “terrorism”, for democratic reform against disappearing freedoms.
Beijing’s power over Hong Kong has never been challenged this powerfully since the 1997 handover from Britain, prompting China’s media to condemn the protest's time and again.
Xinhua, China’s official news agency, warned Tuesday that "violent radicals" were driving Hong Kong to the “abyss” and that their demands should never be met.
"Any connivance or support for the mobsters, any appeasement of them, or sophistry and excuses for them are an insult and defamation of the Hong Kong police force guarding their homeland," Xinhua said, adding that the demonstrations constitute "great harm to Hong Kong's overall interests".
The Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid, said the "most extreme demonstrators have been attacking the police and using increasingly dangerous weapons".
"Their hysterical purpose is to paralyse the SAR government and combat the authority of the police".
On Monday night, state broadcaster CCTV used "extreme acts of violence [which are] tantamount to blatant murder” to describe the protests.
"Those Hong Kong chaotic elements are a sludgy, muddy water in the historical torrent, which will be cleaned up," the news anchor said.
Another anchor threatened "when dealing with terrorism, there is no soft hand" in a Weibo channel video by CCTV.
The previous warnings were issued in tandem with videos circulating on social media showing Chinese military and armored vehicles assembling in the southern city of Shenzen.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times, said the videos mean if the Hong Kong protests worsen China will step in.
"If the violent elements in Hong Kong do not understand this principle and fail to see the signal of the gathering of armed police in Shenzhen, their actions will be self-destructive," he wrote on Weibo, saying it was "easy for the state to smash the set of thugs" in Hong Kong.
"If they do not pull back from the cliff and continue to push the situation further beyond the critical point, the power of the state may come to Hong Kong at any time."