The Chinese Embassy in Singapore has hit back at Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, saying he is undermining the "one country, two systems" framework -- Beijing's red line that must not be crossed.
Wong: "I'm not pushing for Hong Kong independence"
In response to a question from Singapore Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao on how he views some mainland Chinese media describing him as a "separatist", Wong said: "All of them (mainland Chinese media) say that any sort of protest in Hong Kong is advocating for separatism."
"But actually, nobody (referring to Hongkongers) think that's the case," he said in the video interview published on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
"If they want to discredit us, then just let them discredit us."
He subsequently reiterated: "I'm not advocating for Hong Kong independence".
This is a stance that he has repeated in front of international media.
Zaobao quoted this particular line in the short text accompanying the video interview.
Chinese Embassy: Wong is undermining "one country, two systems"
Despite Wong saying he is not for Hong Kong independence, the Chinese Embassy in Singapore said in a Facebook post published on the same day as the interview that Wong was undermining "one country, two systems".
However, the Chinese Embassy might have been selectively referring to Wong saying that the 'one country, two systems' framework seems more like "one country, one-and-a-half systems".
Wong explained that despite Beijing promising Hong Kong "a high degree of autonomy" under the "one country, two systems" framework, Hongkongers have been increasingly feeling the central government's encroachment on the city's autonomy over the years.
"If Hong Kong people were allowed universal suffrage after the handover happened, we wouldn't be out protesting on the streets now," Wong said.
"The Hong Kong people should be able to choose their own government to lead them."
Chinese Embassy: Wong is whitewashing violence
In addition, the Chinese Embassy said Wong was "beautifying" violence, and welcoming foreign interference in Hong Kong's domestic politics.
"Once again, this proves that he is an instigator in the unrest in Hong Kong," it said.
What China wants the world to know
Here's a rough translation of the three points the Chinese embassy made in the post to "allow the rest of the world to correctly understand the problem in Hong Kong":
1. Protests in Hong Kong are instigated by foreign forces
"The violence in Hong Kong has already continued for almost four months. The escalating violence has already severely threatened public safety, and challenged the bottom line of 'one country, two systems'.
The nature of the protests have already evolved from one that was against the extradition bill, to "Hong Kong's version of the Colour Revolution" that is instigated by foreign forces. Stopping the violence and restoring order to society are the most important and urgent mission now in Hong Kong."
2. Calls on international community to support Hong Kong government
"Politicians from the United States, Britain, and other countries are two-faced, and adhere to double standards. They pass falsehoods off as truth, turn a blind eye to what the rioters are doing, yet criticise the police for executing the law. They have even linked the issue with trade negotiations between China and the U.S.
Regarding this blatant double standards and interference in China's internal politics, we hereby express our strong condemnation, and call on the international society to support the Hong Kong government in putting a stop to the violence, and restoring order."
3. Ban on masks reasonable and necessary to stop the violence
"Masked rioters are causing a huge threat to public safety by destroying property. The ban on masks that the Hong Kong government implemented can help put a stop to the violent activities, and are reasonable and necessary.
The Chinese central government strongly supports Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong government and the police in doing whatever it takes to punish the rioters, especially the criminals and the ones behind them, in order to restore order to society as quickly as possible."
Previously, the Chinese Embassy has also condemned the violent clashes between protesters and police in Hong Kong:
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Top image via Lianhe Zaobao