11/26/2019, 10.30
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Elections in Hong Kong: Beijing censors; Carrie Lam distorts

by Paul Wang

Xinhua refers to elections, without giving the results; Global Times mentions them, but advises against giving them too much importance. Carrie Lam feels supported by Beijing, despite the results. But China creates a crisis center in Shenzhen to study the situation more accurately.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The astonishing victory of the democratic camp in the district elections held two days ago finds little or no space in China's media. Even Carrie Lam, head of the executive in the area, is distorting the results and says that Beijing appreciates her work.

Yesterday, after many hours of silence, Xinhua, the government agency, limited itself to saying that the elections had taken place, without communicating any results: neither the victory of the Democrats, nor the scorching defeat of the pro-Beijing candidates.

Only the Communist Party’s "Global Times", (in English, and therefore accessible to very few in the country) dared to say that the Democrats won, but immediately hastened to say that "there was "no need to over-interpret the victory of pan-democrats".

Most of the media - including the "People's Daily", the official organ of the Party - reiterated the official line drawn by President Xi Jinping: the most important thing for Hong Kong is to reaffirm order and security, to stop violence and resist the influence of foreign powers.

The theme "violence" also appears in the statements of Carrie Lam, who yesterday appreciated the fact that the elections took place "in an orderly fashion". But she too belittled the victory of the Democrats and stressed that 41% of the population supported the pro-Beijing candidates because they were " dissatisfaction against violence " in recent months.

Lam also said he did not feel "accused" by Beijing of the electoral defeat.

In any case, Beijing is very worried about the results. According to information gathered by Reuters, the central government has opened a crisis center in Shenzhen to study and control the Hong Kong crisis. The Party is also planning to replace Wang Zhimin, the head of the Beijing-Hong Kong Relations Office (Liaison Office), accused of having misunderstood the malaise of the population. Reuters cites a government representative who says: "The Liaison Office has mixed with the rich and Chinese elites of the city and isolated itself from the people. This must be changed ".

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