Chinese state media vowed Friday there “won’t be a repeat” of the Tiananmen Square crackdown if Beijing moves to quash Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. In a rare reference to the bloody incident — which is usually taboo in mainland China — the Global Times newspaper insisted the country had more sophisticated methods than those it employed 30 years ago to crush protests in the capital.
«The incident in Hong Kong won’t be a repeat of the June 4th political incident in 1989,” it wrote in an editorial. “China is much stronger and more mature, and its ability to manage complex situations has been greatly enhanced.”
Hong Kong has endured 10 weeks of civil unrest, which have morphed from opposition to a hated extradition bill into a wider, and sometimes violent, call for democratic rights. An intensifying drumbeat of propaganda and strident warnings have sparked fears that Beijing might look to intervene — possibly militarily — in the semi-autonomous city. Images of flag-waving military personnel and armoured vehicles in the border city of Shenzhen this week added to those fears, with international commentators invoking the spectre of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.