China media rule out possibility of change in Hong Kong policy

Hong Kong police have increased the security of key government buildings, reports say Image copyright AP
Image caption Hong Kong police have increased the security of key government buildings, reports say

Mainland papers rule out any possibility of Beijing changing its mind on Hong Kong's political reforms, and warn activists against challenging the "supreme power organ" of the country.

Protesters have been occupying parts of the city for several days. They are angry at China's plan to vet candidates for elections in 2017.

Late on Thursday, shortly before a deadline set by protesters for his resignation, Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung said his government would hold talks with student leaders.

He said the chief secretary of the territory, Carrie Lam, would open a dialogue with student leaders as soon as possible.

In a firm tone, state-run People's Daily reiterates its strong support of the central government's decision and slams "some people" for "threatening the central government to back down by using extreme street movement".

"This is an open challenge to the basic law and the law of Hong Kong. It [the protest] is against the rule of law and will not succeed," says the commentary, reiterating that Beijing's position on Hong Kong's election system was "firm".

"On the issue of major principle, there is no room for compromise…Achieving real universal suffrage is not the real aim of these people in Hong Kong. Instead, their political goal is to challenge the supreme power organ and the democratic rights of the Hong Kong residents, which is doomed to fail," says the article.

The daily also carries a series of reports noting that the campaign has disrupted daily life and dampened Hong Kong's economic vibrancy.

Meanwhile, several media outlets have reprinted an article in the Guardian that criticises the campaign. Papers highlight comments in the article that "China is Hong Kong's future - not its enemy".

Criticising the activists for jeopardising Hong Kong's future, an article on the website of the Chinese edition of the China Daily reminds that the protesters "are insignificant comparing with 1.4 billion people in China".

Their demands "lack legal basis and they are not representing the majority", it says.

'Unkind government'

Meanwhile, papers in Hong Kong are discussing the future of the protests after Mr Leung rejected calls to step down.

Commenting on Mr Leung's decision to ask the chief secretary to hold talks with the protesters, analyst Ivan Choy Chi-keung says that the Hong Kong leader is seeking "some short term relief" by "putting his more popular deputy in charge of the discussion".

However, the analyst tells the South China Morning Post that "the chance of reaching a consensus was still slim".

The Hong Kong Economic Times suggests that the government and the activists should "compromise" and "start a dialogue" to give bring an end to the protest.

Foreseeing the campaign to be a "long-term struggle", an editorial in the Apple Daily advises protesters to remain "peaceful and rational".

"Beijing has given firm support to to Mr Leung and with his thick-skinned attitude of refusing to go, we can see that the peaceful Occupy Central campaign may not force him to step down in the short-term," it says, noting that the campaign may enter into a "phase of a long-term fight".

"Under such circumstance, residents and students need to remain calm, peaceful and rational... even when they are faced with provocations or violence…Only by doing so, the campaign can then add moral pressure on the unkind government, and continue to the gain the support of the people from Hong Kong and overseas," it adds.

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