On Wednesday, Hong Kong activists finally called off their strike in remembrance of 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. They have criticized a Chinese state newspaper that reported after the move that the activists are planning “massive terror” in the city.
The Hong Kong edition of the China Daily said on its Facebook page, “Anti-government fanatics are planning massive terror attacks, including blowing up gas pipes, in Hong Kong on September 11.” It also used a picture of the attacks on the twin towers in New York.
“The 9/11 terror plot also encourages indiscriminate attacks on non-native speakers of Cantonese and starting mountain fires,” it said.
The post further said, “leaked information was part of the strategy being schemed by radical protesters in their online chat rooms”. In 1997, the former British colony of Hong Kong returned to China under a “one country, two systems” formula that guarantees freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland, including an independent legal system, triggering the anger over the extradition bill.
Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong leader said she will withdraw the bill but many Hong Kong residents are afraid of Beijing’s constantly eroding the autonomy of the Asian financial hub. China has denied interfering and accused the US, Britain, and others of creating the crisis.
Referring to the China Daily post, a 24-year-old man Michael said, “We don’t even need to do a fact check to know that this is fake news.”
“The state media doesn’t care about its credibility. Whenever something they claimed to have heard on WhatsApp or friends’ friends, they will spread it right away,” he added.
On Wednesday, the called off their move. In a statement, they said that “In solidarity against terrorism, all forms of protest in Hong Kong will be suspended on Sept. 11, apart from potential singing and chanting.”
Another protester named Karen said, referring to the newspaper, “When they try to frame the whole protest with those words, it alarms me.”
“They are predicting rather than reporting. I think people calling it off today is a nice move.”
On Wednesday, Lam said that Hong Kong was struggling with significant challenges from the trade war between the US and China to the recent tension.
“My fervent hope is that we can bridge our divide by upholding the one country, two systems principle, and the Basic Law, and through the concerted efforts of the government and the people of Hong Kong,” she told business leaders.