China media: Hong Kong protest

Police officials have warned protesters to leave the site peacefully Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police officials have warned protesters to leave the site peacefully

Papers in China back Hong Kong authorities' decision to clear a key pro-democracy protest camp in the city.

Police in the territory have begun clearing barricades at the main protest camp in the city centre, after more than two months of pro-democracy demonstrations.

The protesters want Beijing to allow free elections in 2017. China says everyone can vote but a pro-Beijing committee will screen candidates for the chief executive's position.

Several papers, including the Beijing Times, have reported the clearance operation, saying the protests were seriously disrupting Hong Kong's social order.

The overseas edition of the People's Daily says that the students "have wasted two months of their youth".

"The Occupy campaign has lasted for more than two months and it is has now come to a dead-end. No matter what the protesters do, whether they surround the government office or go on a 'hunger-strike performance', they can't revive the illegal movement anymore," it says.

The commentary adds that the authorities delayed their clearance operation "not because of their inability, but because they were concerned about the safety of the young people".

Hong Kong's pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao daily says the authorities are determined to clear the protest site and parents must keep their children away from the "dangerous place".

"The opposition camp will hold on to the opportunity to put up one final struggle… Conflicts and violence may take place," it warns.

Hong Kong's pro-democracy Apple Daily appears to accept that the street protest is ending, but warns that the campaign against the "uncaring" and "imperious" authorities in Hong Kong and Beijing "will make a comeback".

"After today, life will go back to normal, but we do not regret what has happened and are not afraid," says the emotionally charged editorial.

"As long as there is no real universal suffrage, as long as the deformed political system still exists, we will continue to fight using different creative methods…The site clearance will only clean up the streets, but will not remove the people's anger. Another peaceful campaign of a massive scale will return anytime," warns the paper.

'Shopping tour' protest

The South China Morning Post says that a new form of "shopping tour" protest has emerged as pro-democracy activists are "experimenting with new ways to continue their fight after Occupy".

In this new form of protest, demonstrators show up on any street to buy some inexpensive items and start singing and shouting slogans in the process.

Ip Iam-chong, assistant professor at Lingnan University, tells the paper that "a movement with a wider spectrum will be harder for those in power to handle".

Elsewhere, papers applaud the decision to sentence Liu Tienan, a former top economic official, to life imprisonment for accepting millions of dollars in bribes.

Mr Liu was the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) deputy head until he was sacked in August 2013.

The court in Langfang found him guilty of accepting about 35.6m yuan (£3.5m; $5.8m) in return for granting favours to businesses.

An article by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, reprinted by the Xinhua News Agency, describes Mr Liu as a "hypocrite" who was "arrogant" and had "no respect for the principles of the party and the law of the country".

The 8000-word article sternly warns party members against having "too much desire for wealth" and urges them to reflect on Mr Liu's case.

'Demonising' North Korea

And finally, an article in the state-run China Daily criticises The Interview, a Hollywood movie, for being "insensitive" and "demonising" North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The comedy, made by Sony Pictures, features James Franco and Seth Rogen as two journalists who are granted an audience with Mr Kim.

The CIA then enlists the pair to assassinate him. The film is due to be released later in the month.

North Korea has described the film as an "act of terrorism".

"Indeed, the film shows little respect to the DPRK (North Korea). With a comedic plot to assassinate the DPRK leader and the use of his real name, The Interview challenges Mr Kim's leadership, which has been accepted by people of the DPRK as a whole," writes Wang Junsheng, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Praising Mr Kim for "working hard" to portray North Korea "as a more open and confident country", he says that the "stereotype presented by the Sony film sticks out like a sore thumb".

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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