Chinese Media Calls Hong Kong Protesters' Push for Democracy a 'Pipe Dream,' Slamming U.S. 'Interference'

Chinese media referred to Hong Kong protesters' calls for Democratic reforms as a "pipe dream," after President Donald Trump signed new bipartisan legislation aimed at supporting the ongoing demonstrations against Beijing's control over the semi autonomous region.

The Global Times, a daily newspaper operated by China's ruling Communist Party, said Beijing should "completely dispel Hong Kong radical opposition's pipe dream to realize 'absolute universal suffrage,' correct their misunderstanding of the principle, and firmly repulse U.S. assessments of the high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong" in an editorial published on Thursday.

"We must leave no room for collusion and interaction between Hong Kong's radical opposition and the U.S. government. They may act alone and bear the costs, but shall never dream of jointly coercing Beijing," the editorial continued. The article dismissed the Human Rights and Democracy Act, which was passed by Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress to support Hong Kong's protesters, as "typical U.S. interference in China's Hong Kong affairs."

Hong Kong protests
People hold up U.S. flags and flags with pro-democracy slogans during a gathering of thanks at Edinburgh Place in Hong Kong's Central district on November 28, after President Donald Trump signed legislation requiring an annual review of freedoms in Hong Kong NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty

The legislation, which Trump signed on Wednesday, would allow the U.S. government to sanction Chinese individuals working to undermine Hong Kong's autonomous status, while also allowing for Washington to potentially suspend the region's special trade status. Additionally, Trump signed the Protect Hong Kong Act, which would block the sale of American munitions such as rubber bullets and tear gas to law enforcement in the Chinese region.

Trump said the bills were "being enacted in the hope that leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences, leading to long-term peace and prosperity for all." But China's government was quick to blast the move by Washington, with the Asian nation's foreign ministry calling it a "blatant hegemonic move," according to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

"For the erroneous act by the U.S., China will certainly take firm countermeasures and the US side will be fully responsible for all the consequences," foreign vice-minister Le Yucheng warned.

Pro-Democracy demonstrators have been protesting now for more than six months, with the initial movement sparked by since rescinded legislation that would allow for the extradition of Hong Kong residents to mainland China. Although the Hong Kong government withdrew the contention legislation, demonstrators have continued to protest against Beijing's growing control of the former British colony.

Hong Kong protest
A participant holds a torch and wears headgear modeled after the Statue of Liberty as people assemble for a gathering of thanks at Edinburgh Place in Hong Kong's Central district on November 28, after Trump signed legislation requiring an annual review of freedoms in Hong Kong ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty

China governs the region under the so-called "one country, two systems" policy, which grants Hong Kong significantly greater autonomy and freedom compared to the mainland. However, over the past few years, Hong Kong residents have grown increasingly concerned over Beijing's control of their region. They fear the freedoms they have enjoyed for decades are being eroded and will inevitably be removed under the current political trajectory.

In rebuke to Beijing, Hong Kong residents came out in mass on Sunday to vote for pro-Democracy candidates, who inevitably won nearly 90 percent of the 452 district council seats. Despite the win, however, China's ruling Communist Party maintains executive control of the region, through a political system rigged in Beijing's favor.

China Daily, another newspaper owned by the Asian nation's Communist Party, claimed in a Monday editorial that the election results were "a setback for Hong Kong's democratic development."