China describes Hong Kong protests as 'near terrorism'
August 15, 2019 5:56 am
China has condemned violent clashes in the Hong Kong protests as “behaviour that is close to terrorism” – in a sign of its rhetoric hardening.
After days of peaceful protests at Hong Kong International Airport, clashes with police broke out on Tuesday night.
Video showed an officer drawing his gun on protesters who beat him with his own truncheon during the disturbance.
It is the second time in a week that Chinese officials have publicly likened the protests to terrorist activity.
Some observers believe that the repeated use of such language suggests that China is losing patience with the protesters, and could increase the likelihood of an intervention from Beijing.
The US said it was “deeply concerned by reports of Chinese paramilitary movement along the Hong Kong border” and urged China to respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.
However, most analysts consider that at this stage, a direct military intervention is still unlikely.