|Zhang Xiaoming likens HK turmoil to 'color revolution'|
High-ranking mainland official Zhang Xiaoming likened Hong Kong's recent protests to a “color revolution,'' but stopped short of describing them as an independence movement, sources told RTHK.
Zhang, the director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, was holding a closed-door seminar along with the head of Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong, Wang Zhimin, for around 500 Hong Kong delegates in Shenzhen, including pro-government lawmakers, NPC delegates and members of the CPPCC.
According to sources, Zhang said the recent protests have been like a “color revolution” in that discussions in society do not distinguish right from wrong, with some people trying to use distorted logic to manipulate the debate.
Zhang also said it is not an appropriate time to set up an independent inquiry into the extradition bill saga and the most pressing issue is to stop the violence, the sources reported.
But he also said the government could consider an independent inquiry “when things quiet down.''
Wang Zhimin, meanwhile, was quoted as saying that young people may have taken to the streets because of a “development imbalance” in Hong Kong's capitalist society.
He called on “people who love the country and love Hong Kong” to communicate more with the younger generation, and “to spread more positive and peaceful messages”.
Speaking after the morning session of the seminar, local pro-Beijing heavyweight Maria Tam said Zhang had also told those present to support the work of the police, as the force is the only mechanism for upholding law and order in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's lone Standing Committee member of the NPC, Tam Yiu-chung, also quoted Zhang as saying that Hong Kong's top priority must be to clamp down on the violence and chaos.
He added that Zhang told them that if there is unrest in Hong Kong, the central government will definitely intervene, although there was no mention of sending soldiers onto Hong Kong streets.
Former justice secretary Elsie Leung, meanwhile, said she believes One Country Two Systems will remain firmly in place even if Beijing does deploy the People's Liberation Army to help restore order in Hong Kong.
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