As the United States and parts of the rest of the globe pause to remember the tragic September 11 terror attacks and nearly 3,000 Americans who lost their lives, China has used the occasion for crude and cheap propaganda purposes.
Astoundingly on Wednesday the Hong Kong edition of state-owned China Daily newspaper published a Facebook post featuring an archival image of the attack on the Twin Towers while “warning” the public that “massive terror attacks” were being planned by anti-Beijing Hong Kong protesters.
The post warned attacks were imminent and included sabotage operations such as setting fires and bombing gas pipelines, as well as of targeted attacks on non-Cantonese speakers.
“Anti-government fanatics are planning massive terror attacks, including blowing up gas pipes, in Hong Kong on September 11,” the state media message said. “The 9/11 terror plot also encourages indiscriminate attacks on non-native speakers of Cantonese and starting mountain fires.”
The publication claimed to be in possession of intercepted communications of HK protest leaders via Telegram.
Western journalists based in Hong Kong were quick to respond that China Daily and other state publications were officially losing their minds over Hong Kong.
China’s state media are officially losing their minds over #HongKong: https://t.co/0LV9cYcGC8 (This is China Daily. TOP papers like @washingtonpost & @nytimes accept millions from them to plant genuine-looking ‘news’ inserts into their print editions.) pic.twitter.com/Cdi9UT5Ub4
— Tom Grundy (@tomgrundy) September 9, 2019
Needless to say, no “terror attacks” took place by Wednesday’s close (local time), and protest leaders had actually halted mass demonstrations for the day in respect of 9/11.
Further, authorities made no arrests nor came forward with any “proof” that such attacks were being planned.
Mainland officials have of late frequently leveled the charge of external state “foreign interference” in the now multiple months-long protests and unrest, which is why they are also likely to increasingly invoke Western images for propaganda consumption.