China

China media: Hong Kong protesters condemned

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Hong Kong has seen some of the worst unrest in more than two months of protests

State-controlled dailies accuse pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong of "intensifying" the crisis, as police in the territory clash with protesters trying to surround government offices.

The protesters object to Beijing's insistence that it will have say in which candidates can stand in planned elections for the post of Hong Kong chief executive in 2017.

A report in the overseas edition of the People's Daily says the protests are hurting businesses and the poor in the territory.

It also alleges that the protesters are deliberately "exhausting police resources", and reports extensively on disputes between activists and passers-by.

In contrast, the paper insists, police diligently performed their duties.

Hong Kong's pro-Beijing Ta Kung Paodaily likens the "unpopular" protesters to "rats running across the streets".

"They know that their actions for the past two months did not cause the central government to give way," it says.

"Now they are determined to escalate the violence and provoke the Hong Kong government to intensify the issue."

An article in the Global Times blames the whole crisis on the British.

A day after a group of British members of parliament were barred from visiting the territory, the daily accuses the former colonial power of having "politicised" Hong Kong society by paving the way for voting reform shortly before the hand 1997 over to China.

In contrast to the protesters' demands for more grassroots control, the daily suggests that the Hong Kong government "upgrade" its political system to give the chief executive a bigger say in relation to the directly elected Legislative Council.

Meanwhile in Taiwan…

The situation at home leaves a pro-democracy Hong Kong paper, Apple Daily, looking wistfully over to Taiwan, where the governing Kuomintang party (KMT) was dealt heavy losses in a local elections on Saturday.

Under President Ma Ying-jeou, the KMT has sought to move closer to Beijing and the polls were widely seen as a referendum on relations with China.

"The people in Hong Kong are envious of the Taiwanese for being able to decide for themselves," an Apple Daily editorial laments.

"It is painful that Hong Kong, which enjoys freedom of speech and is governed by rule of law, does not have such an opportunity, but has to swallow an unacceptable political system."

Chinese state media, on the other hand, concentrate on arguing that the KMT's defeat should not be interpreted as a victory for pro-independence forces in Taiwan.

Instead, People's Daily insists, the KMT was merely punished by voters for its "lack of ability", and thus effectively "lost to itself".

Global Times notes that while Western-style elections have "split Taiwan society", the mainland should view the island's "uncertainty" calmly.

"We must understand that the more developed the mainland becomes, the more unlikely it is that the island will leave," it argues.

And finally, media outlets highlight China's efforts to combat the HIV epidemic as the country marks World Aids Day on Monday.

On Sunday, Premier Li Keqiang announced that more resources would be spent on the prevention and treatment of Aids, and that China would also "deepen co-operation and share its experiences with the world", the official Xinhua news agency reports.

According to the agency, 136,300 people died in China of HIV/Aids last year.

Wu Zunyou, head of the National Centre for Aids/STD Control and Prevention, tells the China Daily that the proportion of younger sufferers has almost doubled between 2008 and 2012 - and argues that "gay sex" is a "major reason".

Writing in the same paper, Catherine Sozi, country director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) is upbeat, saying "China as a world leader can lead the way" in fighting the disease.

While the country is still lacking in some areas, China's top leadership has shown "strong commitment" and "the country has moved into a position of complete self-sufficiency".

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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