The protests by Hong Kongers against a proposed extradition bill have caught the eye of mainland Chinese media.
Protests criticised as foreign collusion
On June 10, state-run media Global Times published a commentary in Chinese that slammed the protests as the result of Hong Kong's opposition working in "collusion" with the West.
It accused Hong Kong's opposition parties of politicising the bill in order to gain international support. It also highlighted that contact with "international entities" had supposedly increased in the lead-up to the bill's passing.
The commentary in Global Times opined:
"It is very noteworthy that some international forces have significantly strengthened their interaction with the Hong Kong opposition in recent times."
The sentiment was echoed by China Daily, which added that the protests consisted of people who had been misled about the bill, and those who wanted to promote a political agenda.
China Daily claimed that the protesters were also pawns of Hong Kong's opposition, who were unaware of the plot by foreign forces to hurt China via creating havoc in Hong Kong.
U.S. accused of using Hong Kong as bargaining chip in trade war
The Global Times also placed the protests within the context of the ongoing trade war between U.S. and China.
Pointing to recent visits by opposition Hong Kong leaders to the U.S. in March and May, the Global Times claimed they were signs of the U.S. waging a trade war on China.
They further accused the U.S. of using Hong Kong as a bargaining chip in the trade war.
The Global Times was likely referring to a May meeting between pro-democracy advocates and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and a March meeting between opposition lawmakers and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both of which occurred in the U.S.
Support for protests played down
Both the Global Times and China Daily also played up support for the extradition Bill, stating that over 700,000 people had allegedly signed their names in support of the bill.
Meanwhile, the protest itself was played down, with the chief editor of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, citing the Hong Kong police's figure of 240,000 on Weibo.
An English editorial for the Global Times characterised the protests as a "public procession" and stated that the government of Hong Kong had responded positively to suggestions about the Bill.
CNA further reported that searching for the protests on Weibo also yielded no results.
Bill must be passed for Hong Kong's rule of law to be upheld
China Daily emphasised that it was "long overdue" for the Bill to be passed so as to uphold the rule of law in Hong Kong.
Its editorial alleged that hundreds of fugitives and criminals had since successfully made Hong Kong their safe haven and added that this had undermined Hong Kong's reputation as a lawful society.
As such, it was for such reasons that:
"Any fair-minded person would deem the amendment bill a legitimate, sensible and reasonable piece of legislation that would strengthen Hong Kong's rule of law and deliver justice."
The Bill has been scheduled for its second reading on June 12, Wednesday.
Top image screenshot from Larry Au Twitter