Fri Aug 9, 2019, 07:47 PM

China Claims U.S. "Black Hand" Is Behind Hong Kong Protests

As new round of protest begins, Beijing-backed media outlets say U.S. is supporting demonstrations

By Eva Dou in Beijing and Natasha Khan and Wenxin Fan in Hong Kong
Updated Aug. 9, 2019 12:03 pm ET

China ratcheted up its accusations of U.S. involvement in fomenting protests in Hong Kong, spotlighting a top diplomat in state media, as the restive city prepared for a 10th weekend of demonstrations under the threat that Beijing could step in.

Hundreds of black-clad protesters began a three-day sit-in at the city’s international airport on Friday, while several demonstrations planned for the weekend were banned by the local police. That could give rise to further clashes, days after Beijing warned it could intervene directly if Hong Kong authorities were unable to quell the unrest on their own.

The protests come amid rising trade tensions between the U.S. and Beijing. Chinese officials have accused the U.S. of encouraging protesters to undermine the government, though the Trump administration has offered guidance to officials to maintain a measured response in an effort to avoid derailing U.S. efforts on trade talks. U.S. diplomatic representatives in Hong Kong have met with senior government officials.

On Thursday and Friday, Beijing-backed media outlets circulated a photo of Julie Eadeh, the political unit chief of the U.S. consulate general in Hong Kong, meeting in a hotel lobby with prominent members of the opposition, including 22-year-old Joshua Wong, a key figure in protests that rocked Hong Kong five years ago.


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