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1. Yonden Lhatoo is the Chief News Editor at the Post. He had worked as a television news anchor and editor in Hong Kong for nearly two decades before joining the SCMP in 2015.|
The following are excerpts from Yonden Lhatoo's news report, dated 12 October 2019, under the headline "US senator Ted Cruz accuses Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam of cancelling meeting with him out of ‘weakness’ and ‘fear’ of anti-government protesters".
One of the United States’ strongest critics of China, Republican senator Ted Cruz, has accused Hong Kong’s leader of cancelling a scheduled meeting with him out of “weakness” and “fear” of anti-government protesters.
On a brief visit to Hong Kong on Saturday (October 12, 2019), Cruz said he had met “non-violent protest leaders” and impressed upon them the need to shun violence, but insisted he himself had never heard, or seen evidence, of rioting, vandalism and mob attacks over more than four months of civil unrest in the city.
Speaking to reporters at the US consul-general’s residence on The Peak, Cruz was dressed in black to “express solidarity with the protesters”....
Cruz’s anti-Beijing campaign has seen him introduce a bill to amend the US-Hong Kong Policy Act, which would require the State Department to certify the city’s autonomy if it is to continue enjoying special trade and economic benefits under the existing arrangement.
Cruz and other China hawks in the US Congress are also pushing for the bipartisan Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would require Washington to assess whether the city should still be afforded its special status in light of political developments....
“I recognise that some of the protests have turned violent. There is considerable concern that the protests are being infiltrated by agents of the Chinese government precisely to cause that violence, to turn the protests violent. I don’t know if that is happening or not; I can tell you the protest leaders with whom I spoke today believe it is happening,” he said.
“What I have encouraged the protest leaders with whom I have spoken is to embrace non-violent protest, to follow the tradition of Gandhi in India and Dr Martin Luther King in the United States.
“That can be difficult to carry out, it can be particularly difficult in the face of violent oppression by government forces, of police beatings and shootings.”
He went on to level further accusations against Beijing.
“There is a reason the Communist Party in China wants the Hong Kong protests to turn violent because the Chinese Communist Party very much wants to characterise these protests as violent acts of terrorism rather than democracy protesters standing up for human rights,” he said.
“But my strong encouragement to the protesters here in Hong Kong is resist the urge to respond to brutality in like kind, but instead stand with dignity.” (End excerpts)
2. The following are excerpts from a news report, dated 13 October 2019, by Nicola Smith and Michael Zhang, under the headline "Police officer stabbed in the neck in latest Hong Kong clashes".
A Hong Kong police officer was stabbed in the neck on Sunday in one of the worst acts of violence against the authorities during the 19th straight weekend of civil unrest in the global financial hub.
Graphic footage emerged of the policeman being stabbed in the neck from behind with a sharp object as his team retreated towards Kwun Tong metro station.
The police confirmed that two people had been arrested at the scene and the officer had been transferred to hospital “in a conscious state” and was stable.
A police source said that the officer had sustained a 3cm cut to his neck, and while it was still hard to confirm the extent of his injuries, that the attack was “one of the worst” when seen “in terms of malice, in terms of an attempt to kill the officer.”
Flash mob-style protests had initially peacefully in multiple locations with small groups of a few hundred people chanting “Free Hong Kong” slogans but soon developed into chaotic clashes with the riot police as more radical black-clad activists trashed shops and erected barricades on busy roads.
Dozens were reportedly injured, numerous arrests were made and tear gas was deployed to disperse protesters, although the police said “minimum force” was used. As night fell, about 20 Molotov cocktails were thrown at a police station in Mongkok in Kowloon.
Earlier in the day, protesters played a game of cat-and-mouse with riot officers in Mongkok’s busy shopping district – blocking roads with metal railings and bamboo sticks, only to disappear into a warren of side streets when police vans arrived to clear the way....
Crowds of residents surrounded the police, hurling insults and accusing them of being “mafia,” jeering as the vans pulled away and giving officers the finger.... (End excerpts)
3. Republican senator Ted Cruz seemed to have been sleeping like Rip Van Winkle for more than four months when he "insisted he himself had never heard, or seen evidence, of rioting, vandalism and mob attacks over more than four months of civil unrest" in Hong Kong. However, he soon contradicted himself when he said: “I recognise that some of the protests have turned violent."
Most laughable and outrageous of all, he advanced a conspiracy theory that the protests in Hong Kong are "being infiltrated by agents of the Chinese government precisely to cause that violence, to turn the protests violent." He continued: "I don’t know if that is happening or not; I can tell you the protest leaders with whom I spoke today believe it is happening.”
If Cruz's conspiracy theory is true, the police officer who "risked his life in the acting" and the attacker-cum-alleged Chinese government agent who "tried to act as real as possible in the attempted killing" should both win an Oscar in the best acting category.