China Daily Hong Kong posted a shocking photo on Facebook of the World Trade Center in New York in flames on September 11, 2001, with the caption, “Anti-government fanatics are planning massive terror attacks in Hong Kong on September 11.” The South China Morning Post investigated further:
When asked if the claim was factually accurate and whether it was ethical to publish it, the state-run outlet sent a screenshot which it said came from a channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram where a post said protesters should start killing people if their demands were not met.
The newspaper declined to answer further questions about the paper’s editorial process or why it had conflated the Hong Kong protests with the worst terrorist attack on American soil.
Meanwhile, in state media disinformation: The Global Times published a “case study” on “How Western media promotes color revolution” in Hong Kong, the China Daily released an editorial titled Demonstrators betray hidden US hand behind HK protests, and the Global Times published an opinion piece arguing that Washington has no right to define HK’s high degree of autonomy (also in Chinese here). These were much more par for the course.
Germany was chastised, and the U.S. and U.K. were warned by officials in response to recent actions.
- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas met in Berlin with activist Joshua Wong, whom the Chinese Foreign Ministry blasted as a “separatist.”
- More U.S. congresspeople signed on to a bill that “would require the US government to assess Hong Kong’s level of political autonomy annually to determine whether it should continue to have a special trade status,” the SCMP reports. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam responded, “We will not let [the US Congress] become…a stakeholder in Hong Kong’s affairs.”
- In response to unspecified comments by U.K. politicians, the Chinese ambassador to the country “argued it was a problem if they made ‘irresponsible remarks to show support’ for what he described as ‘demonstrators and rioters’ in Hong Kong,” the Guardian says.