MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Chinese media outlets and diplomats are arguing that Hong Kong's protests are acting as a puppet for international anti-China forces, a claim activists and academics believe Beijing is using to escape blame for the situation.
"The Occupy Central activists and their adherents must wake up. They shouldn't act as a puppet of those hostile external forces," the Global Times, which is affiliated with the official People's Daily newspaper wrote in an editorial on Wednesday.
"With the Hong Kong radical forces becoming a new member, the anti-China camp seems to be expanding. If this is the case, it will yield terrible results," the Global Times added.
According to the editorial, the Hong Kong protests have been backed by Western public opinion along with several groups confronting the current Chinese regime such as Tibetan, Xinjiang and Taiwan separatists, Falun Gong devotees, and pro-democracy activists. Authors claim the growing support will make ending the protests increasingly difficult while sacrificing the future of Hong Kong, a territory which benefits from its links to China.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told ATV Newsline on October 19 that the protests were, "not entirely a domestic movement, as external forces are involved," however he declined to provide evidence or name countries he believed to be involved with the demonstrations.
Visiting Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong mirrored Leung's opinion following the start of the protests at the end of September and voiced their opposition to international interference urging countries including the United States refrain from aiding protesters or voicing support, according to Xinhua news.
"Today they are repeating their tricks, and get very excited when they see 'moves' in Hong Kong. Their dirty hands are reaching out through the cracks," a commentary from the People's Daily website said in early October.
"Can't you see that British and American diplomats are already making irresponsible remarks?" the website added.
Meanwhile, academics and pro-democracy activists believe China is publicly opposing international involvement in Hong Kong in a bid to escape accountability.
"By saying there are foreign factors, officials may be held less accountable for the problems facing the government," a former editor of the Study Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Central Party School, Deng Yuwen told the South China Morning Post on October 2.
"Officials may know the other reasons behind the problem, but they will tell the public that foreign interference is to blame," Deng added.
David Zweig, a professor of political science at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, told the South China Morning Post in early October that Beijing's habit of blaming domestic problems on foreign governments is rooted in the administration's Marxist mentality while pro-democracy activists and academics believe China's accusations act as a tool to prevent foreign governments from helping the demonstrators.
Major protests in Hong Kong began on September 27 against the Chinese government's plan to control the region's 2017 election, an act which demonstrators claim threatens the territory's autonomy.