On Wednesday China stepped up its use of anti-terrorism rhetoric. A "political virus" and a "dark, destructive force" were some of the harsh statements used regarding the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong that has permeated throughout the semi-autonomous region since 2019. The prevailing belief coming out of China is there will never be stability amid the ongoing protests that are going on.
The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) under China's cabinet, and the State Council warned China's central government wouldn't stand for "this recklessly demented force in place," and said the protests have largely been curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic in recent months.
The office added in a statement "The scorched-earth action of the black-clad violent protesters is a political virus in Hong Kong society and a big enemy to 'one-country-two-systems'. As long as the protesters are not removed, Hong Kong will never be calm."
According to the wire service, as China has been slowly recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic the protests have actively started again, and Hong Kong authorities dispersed a crowd of 300 pro-democracy demonstrators in late April.
Pro-democracy lawmaker Andrew Wan said the HKMAO statement was "ridiculous," as it had failed to consider the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Hong Kong's economy, and instead sought to blame protesters.
In addition to the protests, Hong Kong's economy was impacted deeply by the pandemic and had its largest contraction in the first quarter of this year since 1974.