The present leader of China Xi Jinping is prepared to take no prisoners, as he issued a warning on Sunday, to “crush” all attempting to cause a rift in China.
Xi, speaking to Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on his visit to Nepal on Oct 13, said, “Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” reported Reuters. “And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming!”
Although Xi mentioned no specific region, anti-government protesters in Hong Kong clashed again with riot police over the weekend. The protests have continued over the past four months, and President Trump has said it will be hard to do business with China if “anything bad” happens during the authorities’ handling of the protesters.
On Monday, Oct .14, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Hong Kong, with many wearing face masks to defy a government ban.
Holding up banners, one reading “Make Hong Kong Great Again” and waving American flags, the protesters pleaded with the United States to help them.
“All of the Hong Kong people feel hopeless, and the government ‘hasn’t listened to our voices, so we need the USA to help us,” said protester Edward Fong, 28.
On Monday, speakers called on U.S. senators to vote for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, saying it would be their “most powerful weapon,” reported Reuters. “We are exhausted and scared; many of us have been detained and tortured. … We believe international help will come one day,” one speaker said.
More than 2,300 have been arrested in the protests, many of them young teenagers, with two shot and wounded.
Last week Washington blacklisted 28 Chinese companies over Beijing’s treatment of predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities. The U.S. Commerce Department said, “Entities have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups.”
Xi is facing increasing pressure from Western countries and human rights groups, accusing China of holding over 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in what U.N. experts describe as mass detention centers reported the Guardian.
Adding to China’s woes, is the NBA controversy. General manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, set off a firestorm of anger from China, when he tweeted his support for the Hong Kong protesters on Oct. 4, supporting free speech.
Morey tweeted, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” in support of the pro-democracy demonstrations that have been ongoing since June.