And anyone else within earshot. Via the New Daily:
China has threatened unspecified “countermeasures” if the United States goes ahead with plans to deploy ground-based missiles in the Asia-Pacific region, with a specific warning for Australia.
“China will not stand idly by and will be forced to take countermeasures should the US deploy intermediate-range ground-based missiles in this part of the world,” the Chinese foreign ministry’s director of arms control, Fu Cong, said.
“We also call on our neighbours, our neighbouring countries, to exercise prudence and not to allow a US deployment of its intermediate-range missiles on [their] territory,” Mr Fu was quoted as saying by AFP, naming Australia, Japan and South Korea.
“That would not serve the national security interest of these countries,” he said.
The warning comes a day after Defence Minister Linda Reynolds ruled out the possibility of the missiles being deployed in Australia.
Those reprisals will be cutting off tourism and students, which is what Angry China did to South Korea when it added US missiles. I think that those trades are likely to fade away anyway as China goes ex-growth, CNY collapses and the capital account shuts.
But it was Hong Kong that took the brunt of Angry China, at the ABC:
Chinese officials have urged protesters across Hong Kong not to mistake Beijing’s “restraint” for weakness, as violent anti-government protests enter their third month and show no sign of abating.
On Tuesday, China’s State Council Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office held its second press conference on the protests in just over a week, with spokesman Yang Guang and spokeswoman Xu Luying saying it was “only a matter of time” before those who were behind the protest movement faced punishment.
“I would like to warn all of the criminals: don’t ever misjudge the situation and mistake our restraint for weakness,” their statement said.
A small group of violent radicals were at the forefront of the protests, with “some kind-hearted citizens who have been misguided and coerced to join” in the middle, they said, adding that anti-China forces were the “behind-the-scenes masterminds” who had “openly and brazenly emboldened” the protesters.
Mr Yang singled out “brazen, violent and criminal actors” and the “meddling hands behind the scenes” as the focus of law enforcement efforts, which indicates Beijing will take a hard line against the protests and has no plans to open a dialogue on activists’ demands for political reforms.
He also called on Hong Kong citizens to turn on the protesters by refusing to accept their promotional materials and opposing disruptions to public transport.
The council is struggling to contain the ongoing protests, which were sparked in March over the now-withdrawn extradition bill with China, which many feared would have allowed Beijing to silence dissidents.
The anti-government protests have continued and now encompass broader demands around democracy and government accountability.
Police on Monday fired tear gas at protesters after a general strike hit transport and the city’s Beijing-backed leader warned its prosperity was at risk.
The amount of violence and property damage has increased in recent protests, with 10 people injured last week when fireworks were shot from a moving car into a crowd of pro-democracy activists.
More than 40 people faced a Hong Kong court last week, charged with rioting for their role in a recent protest that turned violent when thousands of activists clashed with police near Beijing’s main representative office in the city.
Fears over military intervention
“We call on people from all walks of life in Hong Kong to unequivocally oppose and resist violence,” Mr Yang said on July 29, when he also labelled protesters “evil’ and “criminals”.
“No civilised sociality under the rule of law would ever allow acts of violence to take place.”
There has been growing speculation that the Chinese Government will send in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to combat the protesters.
When asked during the first press conference under what circumstances PLA could intervene, Mr Yang referred to Hong Kong’s mini constitution, known as the Basic Law, which states that the Hong Kong government can ask the PLA garrison in the city to help maintain order.
Legal scholars have described that as a high threshold.
On August 1, the PLA’s Hong Kong garrison released a video demonstrating anti-riot drills which included troops firing guns and rockets, and of light tanks, attack helicopters and missile launchers.
Protesters hold own press conference
Just before the council spoke to reporters, a group of anonymous protesters — who wore masks to protect their identities — held their own press conference, in which they condemned what they said was the Government’s “empty rhetoric”.
Many protesters have chosen to hide their identities because they fear official retribution.
In what they called the inaugural People’s Press Conference, they accused police of showing a “total lack of self-discipline”, adding some tear gas was fired on residential buildings during clashes across several districts on Monday.
The protesters apologised for inconvenience caused by Monday’s general strike which paralysed regular workday operations in the city. Major roads and public transit lines were blocked, while at least 77 flights out of the airport were cancelled.
Bill Bishop is on the money at Sinocism:
The central government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office held a press conference Tuesday. The warnings from Beijing are growing stronger but they are still holding back direct threats of PLA/People’s Armed Police intervention while continuing to affirm confidence in Carrie Lam and the Hong Kong police. Beijing may have decided the best way to diffuse the current situation is to demonstrate to most Hong Kong citizens the economic costs of continued protests, while aggressively following the CCP playbook and arresting a “small group of radicals” they blame for fomenting the protests, and hoping things will calm down in the next few weeks as students return to school. Do not be surprised to see cancellations of mainland tour travel to Hong Kong.
Will such an approach work? I do not know, it certainly will not address the underlying causes of the protests and may even inflame them further, but Beijing I believe/hope understands that sending in the PLA or the PAP would be a disaster on so many levels and therefore will try many things before resorting to that awful option, especially between now and the October 1 celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC.
It will be the end China’s globalisation phase and accelerate its decline. It is mad if it does not sack the provincial government.
But who knows as a highly defensive Angry China lashes all.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.