China media: Hong Kong arrests

Police officials, acting on court orders, have cleared some protest sites Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police officials, acting on court orders, have cleared some protest sites

Papers in China have supported Hong Kong police's decision to arrest pro-democracy protesters.

Police in Hong Kong say 116 protesters have been arrested during clashes since Tuesday, as operations to dismantle activist camps in Mong Kok.

Supporting police action, the China Daily's Asia Pacific edition criticises "radical protesters" for "blatantly defying the law" and "acting against the wishes of most Hong Kong people".

"Tuesday's police action demonstrated the rule of law in action. It was a timely reassurance that the rule of law, a cornerstone of Hong Kong stability and prosperity, will prevail," says the paper.

The Global Times concludes that the street movement "has failed" while praising the central government for exercising restraint "without exerting its strength directly".

The editorial also highlights that the protests have "barely made any impact" on the mainland.

It adds that "only a handful of mainlanders thought about the demands of the protesters, but their voices were soon smothered by the mainstream opinion".

Violence fears

Hong Kong's Ming Pao daily, however, worries that violence may escalate and urges the police to refrain from using force.

Making no direct reference to the arrests, an article in Hong Kong-based Apple Daily observes that the governments in Beijing and Hong Kong are "afraid of the young people".

It notes that the central government has instructed Hong Kong officials to "work on the young people" by handing out "real benefits" such as housing and employment.

"However, this is not what the young people want… The authorities can only win their trust by loosening the restrictions on them," it says, referring to protesters' unhappiness over political interference from Beijing.

Meanwhile, some papers reflect on China's path towards strengthening a law-based society after a jury in the US opted not to send a white police officer to trial.

In October, a key meeting of the Communist Party decided to reform the country's judicial system to strengthen the rule of law.

The grand jury decision has sparked unrest in parts of the US. Crowds gather in cities across the country to protest against the decision not to charge Darren Wilson over the killing of black teen Michael Brown.

The Global Times' Chinese edition wonders how a Chinese court would react in a similar situation.

"Will China, which is promoting the rule of law, be able to take similar steps? Do we want a similar situation to happen here?... This is something that we need to think about as we are pushing for a rule-based governance," adds the daily.

The paper adds that a Chinese court is likely to go with the public opinion or just drag the case to avoid social unrest in scenarios like Ferguson.

Preferential treatment?

And finally, some papers wonder if Chinese Olympic Champion swimmer Sun Yang was given "special treatment" when he was banned for three months after failing a doping test.

According to state media, Sun Yang was tested positive for a banned stimulant trimetazidine in May during the national championships. He went on to compete in the Asia Games in South Korea in September, taking three gold medals.

An article in the Beijing News observes that his punishment was only made known to the public six months later.

"Sun Yang is the king of the pool in Asia. But does this mean that he is entitled to receive preferential treatment? Is this fair to the other athletes?" the article asks.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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