The Communist Party has always been aware of the power of mass protests.
Mao Zedong in 1930 famously used the traditional saying: “a single spark can start a prairie fire” to remind fellow Communists the power of strikes and uprisings when they were a fledgling opposition party under the one-party Nationalist rule.
Today - Leaders - Grimmer - View - Images
Today, Chinese leaders are likely to take a much grimmer view when they see images of millions protesting a controversial law in Hong Kong this month.
Rocked by its biggest political crisis in decades, millions have thronged to the streets to protest a proposed law allowing for the extradition of individuals to mainland China, where courts are controlled by the Communist Party.
Minister - Wang - Yi - Reporters - Week
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi told reporters last week that it was “highly alarming that Western forces have been stirring up trouble and provoking confrontation in an attempt to undermine Hong Kong’s peace and stability.”
Casting protests as conspiracies fomented by “Western hostile forces” is a narrative that is not new for the Chinese government.
Tiananmen - Movement - Plot - Powers - Rule
The 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy movement, eventually crushed by the military, was labelled as a plot backed by Western powers to topple communist rule. The 500,000-strong protest in Hong Kong against a proposed subversion law in 2003 and the 79-day “Umbrella” civil disobedience movement in 2014 were also similarly blamed on “foreign forces” set to undermine China.
Amid the recent protests, a Hong Kong representative to the Chinese parliament warned of “foreign forces’ interference” and warned people not to become “pawns” in the US-China trade war.
Communist - Ideology - People - Representatives - Party
“According to the Communist ideology, ‘We are the people’s representatives’, so the party cannot accept people rising up against it and forcing it to back down,” said Joseph Cheng, retired political science professor at the City University of Hong Kong.
The authorities also have a deep-rooted tendency to blame problems on foreign interference instead of...
Wake Up To Breaking News!