Chinese President Xi Jinping sent out a warning to any government which may be considering an effort to back the Hong Kong protests, as news of the protests continues to make headlines around the world.
“Anyone who attempts to split any region from China will perish, with their bodies smashed and bones ground to powder,” Xi said while visiting Nepal, the Hill reports.
“Any external forces that support the splitting of China can only be regarded as delusional by the Chinese people,” he continued.
The Hill adds:
Xi did not name any specific territories or countries in his comments, but they came at a time when Hong Kong protests against mainland China rule have become more violent.
Hong Kong police said violence was at a “life-threatening” level after a bomb went off and a police officer was stabbed Sunday. The protests originally erupted four months ago over a now-discarded bill allowing suspects to be extradited to China for trial.
China has alleged “external forces” have influenced the Hong Kong protests, which local groups have denied.
No countries have specified that they are interested in intervening in the protests, but the protests have sparked conversations throughout the United States and the world. Several American talking heads and lawmakers have expressed support for the protests.
At the center of the protests is the Chinese government’s control over the region and a new extradition law that was passed into law. While Hong Kong maintains its own governmental day-to-day operations it is legally a Special Administrative Region under the Chinese government.
The Federalist paints an elaborate portrait of the protests representing a larger fight for the integrity of Hong Kong:
When you talk to the people who are behind the democracy movement, to the protesters and the organizers and the organizer-adjacent, you can view the motives that have animated the streets for the past 19-plus weeks as existing within a broader context of conflict over autonomy and self-determination. If you are a young Hong Konger, in your late 20s to early 30s, you remember the past before the handoff. You are mindful of the years when Hong Kong had a higher degree of autonomy that would presumably be protected. You see what you are losing in the current moment — and that’s what makes you take to the streets.
The current protests are being framed by the West as the first in Hong Kong in the era of comprehensive digital media and social communication that can bypass the restrictions of the state. That’s true to an extent — much of what’s happened in the past weeks here has focused on that audience. But what separates this from the past, such as the Umbrella Revolution, is that the whole city is all in on this, existentially, regardless of class divide. This despite the wishful thinking of the likes of Russia Today, the propaganda network of Vladimir Putin, which compared the protesters to classist uprisers from the film series “The Purge,” splicing clips together between the violent American movie and the acts of protesters in the city.
That level of deadly violence, as waged by the protesters, is absent, but there is violence nonetheless — petrol fire bombs, sharp objects, and vandalism abound. Graffiti is omnipresent, but painted over lazily, as if the cleaners know that they will be back to do the same task again the next morning. The city does not feel like a powder keg — more like a solid pot that looks safe and cool to the touch, but inside hides a roiling boil that will burn you in an instant.