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Lies, canards and malice churned out by Hong Kong's rumor mill exposed: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2019-12-03 20:27

The rumor mill operated by the opposition camp in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region suffered a huge setback the other day when a local media outlet interviewed 47 protesters, who were arrested during the police's removal operation on the night of Aug 31 at Prince Edward subway station, including six persons who had been promoted as "martyrs" by the camp.

The malicious rumors about "fatalities" in the Aug 31 police operation are merely part of the unpalatable produce churned out by the rumor mill that is being cranked at full speed to accompany the months-long campaign of violence.

Operated by a group of PR experts recruited by the masterminds and financiers of the campaign, the rumor mill is a key part of the sophisticated psychological warfare aimed at dividing society, smearing the government — particularly the police force — and rallying support, especially from gullible youngsters.

That nearly 300 youngsters under the age of 18 — many of whom are in their early teens — surrendered to the police after they were rounded up along with thousands of adult rioters in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus last month attests to the iniquity and toxicity of the black propaganda campaign against the SAR government. These youngsters can hardly understand politics and have no grievance to air, they have simply swallowed the propaganda they are being fed.

The wickedness of the propaganda corps behind the police-smearing campaign was more obviously exposed in their unrelenting exploitation of a 15-year-old school girl's unfortunate death in their sinister attempt to deface the police force. They repeatedly claimed that the girl had been killed by the police, despite the girl's mother confirming in a TV interview that her daughter was plagued by mental problems and took her own life. The exploitation of a young girl's death to advance their political cause only exposes the loss of humanity and morality in those behind the propaganda machines.

The police-bashing tactics, which also include intimidation against the police and their families, are intended to paralyze the SAR's law enforcement force so that the rioters can escalate their violence and build up the pressure on the SAR government, forcing it to accede to their illegal and unreasonable demands.

But the past six months have been long enough to prove that their tactics do not work. What they have achieved is no more than to deal a big blow to the local economy.

Thanks to the persistent violent rampages, the Hong Kong economy is now in bad shape, the worst it has been in for years, prompting the SAR government to introduce a fourth round of relief measures, as announced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Tuesday.

There must be a halt to the fabrications and the campaign of violence, lest the economy slide into the worst recession in decades and society descends into anarchy. The stakes are high for everyone who lives in the city.

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