Hong Kong response ‘won’t repeat’ Tiananmen: China media

Trucks and armored personnel carriers are parked at the Shenzhen Bay stadium in Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong in China’s southern Guangdong province. (AFP)
Updated 16 August 2019

Hong Kong response ‘won’t repeat’ Tiananmen: China media

  • It is a rare reference to the 1989 bloody incident — which is usually taboo in mainland China
  • Weeks of student-led protests in the Beijing square were ended when the military rolled in with tanks

BEIJING: Chinese state media vowed Friday there “won’t be a repeat” of the Tiananmen Square crackdown if Beijing moves to quash Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.
In a rare reference to the bloody incident — which is usually taboo in mainland China — the Global Times newspaper insisted the country had more sophisticated methods than those it employed 30 years ago to crush protests in the capital.
“The incident in Hong Kong won’t be a repeat of the June 4th political incident in 1989,” it wrote in an editorial.
“China is much stronger and more mature, and its ability to manage complex situations has been greatly enhanced.”
Hong Kong has endured 10 weeks of civil unrest, which have morphed from opposition to a hated extradition bill into a wider, and sometimes violent, call for democratic rights.
An intensifying drumbeat of propaganda and strident warnings have sparked fears that Beijing might look to intervene — possibly militarily — in the semi-autonomous city.
Images of flag-waving military personnel and armored vehicles in the border city of Shenzhen this week added to those fears, with international commentators invoking specter of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.
Weeks of student-led protests in the Beijing square were ended when the military rolled in with tanks. Images of the operation were beamed around the world.
Estimates on the death toll range from hundreds to thousands, although there is no official figure.
The brutal assault resulted in two years of economic near-stagnation as the country became an international pariah.
Discussion of what is euphemistically referred to as the “June 4th incident” is heavily censored in China, and few Chinese are familiar with the photos that are so well known around the world.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton warned China Thursday against creating a “new” Tiananmen Square in its response to the protests in Hong Kong.
Beijing has repeatedly blamed “foreign forces” for stirring up trouble in the city, which was handed back from Britain in 1997, and the Global Times said Friday that the US would “not be able to intimidate China by using the turmoil 30 years ago.”


Spain’s former king leaving country amid financial scandal

Updated 03 August 2020

Spain’s former king leaving country amid financial scandal

  • The 82-year-old former king is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975
  • Marred by scandals in the later years of his reign, Juan Carlos in 2014 abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI

MADRID: Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, says he is leaving Spain to live in another country amid a financial scandal.
The royal family’s website on Monday published a letter from Juan Carlos to his son, King Felipe VI, saying “I am informing you of my considered decision to move, during this period, out of Spain.”
Spain’s prime minister recently said he found the developments about Juan Carlos — including investigations in Spain and Switzerland — “disturbing.”
The 82-year-old former king is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
But marred by scandals in the later years of his reign, Juan Carlos in 2014 abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI, losing the inviolability protection Spain’s Constitution grants to the head of state.
The royal house has denied that Felipe had any knowledge of his father’s alleged financial irregularities.