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Archbishop of Hong Kong criticises foreign-media coverage of protests

06 December 2019

Don’t interfere, Dr Kwong warns overseas governments and foreign media

REUTERS

An anti-government demonstrator holds a flag at a lunchtime protest at Chater Garden, Hong Kong, on Monday

An anti-government demonstrator holds a flag at a lunchtime protest at Chater Garden, Hong Kong, on Monday

THE Archbishop of Hong Kong, Dr Paul Kwong, has attacked overseas governments and foreign media for their intervention and coverage of pro-democracy protests.

Speaking last weekend, Dr Kwong did not name individual countries or media organisations, but said: “Some reports in the overseas media are misinformed and do us harm. We also disagree with the actions of governments overseas who interfere in our local affairs and contribute to the violence.”

His comments echo warnings from Beijing to governments, including the UK and the United States, not to intervene in China’s affairs. Last week, China warned the US that it would take “firm counter measures” if Washington continued to show support for pro-democracy protesters.

Dr Kwong and his fellow Anglican bishops have issued several pastoral letters calling for calm and an end to violence, but this is his strongest intervention yet since large-scale protests broke out in June.

There has been a lull in clashes between protesters and the police over the past few weeks — since pro-democracy protesters made huge gains in local elections last month — but the Archbishop said that he expects the “demonstrations and the continued possibility of violence to continue”.

He said that Christians in churches in Hong Kong had different views about the protests, and that, as Archbishop, he did not “enforce a particular position”.

But he criticised the fact that the majority of demonstrators had not condemned the violence carried out by a small minority.

“The demonstrators have revealed an uncompromising certainty in the moral and empirical rightness of their cause, which they pose in stark contrast to a highly resented but mostly unnamed Establishment and pro-China people. This contributes to the very difficult situation in which we now find ourselves.”

He also acknowledged that the Church had not always responded appropriately, although it had, he said,“tried to maintain a faithful witness”.

“I know that we have sometimes failed in our response to God’s call to build a better Hong Kong, and we need continually to examine ourselves and our social structures as we ask for forgiveness and renewal.”

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