Beijing: Amid raging pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, China today threw its weight behind the region's Chief Executive CY Leung and warned demonstrators of “unimaginable” consequences if the standoff continues.
The support for beleaguered Leung came from the ruling Communist Party of China mouthpiece People's Daily editorial as activists who are holding pro-democracy protests threatened to occupy government buildings if Leung does not resign.
“Occupy Central harms Hong Kong and its people. If it's allowed to continue, the consequences would be unimaginable,” the People's Daily warned in its front-page editorial, according to a news channel.
The daily praised Leung's handling of the situation so far in the former British colony. The central government is full of confidence in Leung and is completely satisfied with his performance, it said.
Beijing “will thus continue to strongly support Leung's leadership of Hong Kong's legal administration as well as the police's handling of illegal activities”, the paper said.
“This is not only for protecting national security and interests, but also for the interests of Hong Kong,” it said.
People's Daily also carried on its website a comment piece from another newspaper which stated: “Hong Kong has for many years enjoyed peace and harmony. It now sees the emergence of this embarrassing chaos, and the root cause lies with a few people who are disrespecting the law.”
“Chaos denies Hong Kong residents their prosperity, goes against their wishes, and is not what all Chinese people wish to see or what we can tolerate,” it said.
It said that upholding rule of law is crucial to the democratic development of Hong Kong, and the Occupy movement is a “blatant violation of Hong Kong laws”, is aimed at “putting the political demands of a few people above the law”.
Also, China has suspended visits by tour groups to Hong Kong as the city's democracy movement threatened to snowball into major crisis.
The China National Tourism Administration told operators not to organise tour groups to the city.
People who booked before yesterday would not be affected, the South China Morning Post reported.
The suspension is a big blow to Hong Kong traders as thousands of Chinese would visit the region during the current week long holiday to celebrate the National Day yesterday.
“It means that there will be no more mainland tours a week from now,” said Hong Kong Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung.