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Hong Kong-style riots to haunt West

(Global Times)    10:59, October 18, 2019

Photo: GT

Supporters of the Catalan separatist movement publicly declared to have learned from the Hong Kong demonstrators, promoting the latter's tactics such as to "be water" and wearing masks to reduce the risk of being arrested. They seized the local airport on Monday and Tuesday, forcing a large number of flights to cancel. They also blocked roads and railways, set garbage cans on fire. Their slogan is "We're going to do a Hong Kong!"

Spain's Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in jail, which, again, set local protesters ablaze. Demonstrations in Catalonia used to be peaceful. It seems that the protesters' use of violence in the four-month turmoil in Hong Kong has set an example for Catalan radicals.

Spanish officials strongly condemned the violence. Politicians from the US and the West obviously have no idea how to comment at this point. The EU and the US used to firmly support the Spanish government in cracking down on the Catalan separatist movement. But the demonstrators say they are learning from Hong Kong, while protests in Hong Kong have been applauded by the West as a "beautiful sight" of democracy. What's happening in Hong Kong is now occurring in the West. This is awkward.

Some mainstream Western media have kept a low key in covering the latest protests in Catalonia while downplaying its connection with Hong Kong or the slogan that local protesters are attempting to turn Catalonia into another Hong Kong.

In addition, some environmentalists in the UK are imitating Hong Kong protesters by occupying the London City Airport. In Australia, a group of environmentalists are also attempting to carry out Hong Kong-style protests. Signs that violence in Hong Kong might be mimicked by Western societies are emerging. Catalonia is more like the beginning.

The Western economy is overall sluggish and even in decline. Immigration issues, racial tensions and political differences have led to substantial dissatisfaction. At this point, making Hong Kong's violent protests an example is dangerous for Westerners.

The violence in Hong Kong is not resistance against so-called tyranny, which is completely fabricated. It is the result of the West's double standards. Because of support from the West, Hong Kong protesters dare to confront their legal system in an unruly way. But their confrontation could be imitated by Western groups who are not satisfied with their situation.

Some elites in the US and the West are lost in their extreme geopolitical and ideological mindsets. They believe the turmoil in Hong Kong will cause trouble for China, so they tend to extol Hong Kong protesters. However, thanks to the "one country, two systems" principle, the chaos in the city will not spread to the Chinese mainland, but the West is not immune to that.

Catalonia is the first to be infected, but will not be the last. If the globalized world cannot jointly oppose violent political movements that challenge the order, it cannot be ruled out that the West will eventually become the severely afflicted area of the new type of violent movement.  

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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