Hong Kong Protester Shot by Police Deserved to Die 'on the Spot,' Chinese Government Mouthpiece Says

A prominent Chinese state-backed newspaper has condemned Hong Kong protesters caught up in violent demonstrations on Monday, throwing its weight behind a police officer who shot an activist and branding anti-government groups "terrorists."

Global Times, a Communist Party mouthpiece which often uses its editorials to broadcast the more belligerent and nationalistic sentiment within the regime, said Tuesday that the protester shot on Monday was to blame for the incident, describing the victim as a "thug."

The newspaper condemned the "frenzied thugs" who clashed with police as they were attempting to clear roadblocks in the northeastern area of Sai Wan Ho. As one officer grappled with several protesters, he pulled out his gun and shot one activist in the abdomen at point blank range.

Global Times claimed that the officer "was forced to pull out his gun" faced by "several mobs alone." The article suggested that the gunshot victim had "tried to snatch the gun from the police," arguing that the officer thus "had to open fire."

A video of the incident shows the officer grabbing a protester and holding him at gunpoint. A fellow activist then approaches the scuffle as the officer aims his weapon. Though the man raised his hand towards the officer's gun, it is not clear whether he was trying to take it.

"Global Times firmly supports the Hong Kong police in shooting down the rioters," the newspaper declared.

"Attacking and threatening the police in the process of law enforcement should face all kinds of legal risks, including being shot dead on the spot."

The shot protester was in a critical condition in hospital as of Monday night, as was a pro-Chinese man who was set alight by anti-government protesters following a verbal altercation.

Footage of the attack was shared on social media on Monday showing the unidentified man arguing with anti-government activists in the north of the territory.

The man told protesters that "none of you are Chinese," to which the demonstrators told him to "go back to the Greater Bay Area," referring to part of the Chinese mainland on the other side of the Hong Kong border.

The man is then doused in an unidentified flammable liquid and set alight. The victim suffered extensive burns.

Global Times said such "barbarism" is "no different from that of terrorists." It added, "Claiming democracy and freedom, the rioters cannot tolerate people who express different perspectives. They are showing vicious and primitive autocratic fanaticism."

Violence continued on Tuesday, as police stormed a Chinese University of Hong Kong campus. Intense police tear gas barrages were met with projectiles including petrol bombs, as activists manned makeshift barricades blocking roads.

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A man is detained by police during a protest in Hong Kong's Central district on November 11, 2019. ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images/Getty