China is preparing to come under the unwelcome spotlight in Osaka at the G-20 Summit that brings together the heads of China, the US and other major nations later this week over its handling of the protests in Hong Kong against legislation that its people fear would erode the city's freedoms.
With the current crisis in the former-British controlled city over the extradition law gaining widespread global interest, Beijing is certain to face uncomfortable questions regarding the matter.
US secretary of state Mike Pompe has already made it clear that President Donald Trump will discuss the demonstration in Hong Kong with President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit. There is immense pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to raise the incident with Xi during the summit.
The timing could not have been worse for China, as the Hong Kong protests come at a time when its own economy is bearing the brunt of the ongoing trade war with Washington.
In addition to this, apprehensions across the globe regarding Chinese expansionary ambitions across the globe in the name of Belt and Road Initiative and human rights concerns have put Beijing in the global crosshairs.
Beijing too seems to be realising the predicament it has found itself in. It is preparing to face the situation in typical fashion. The country will likely take an offensive stance rather than take a step backwards, according to experts.
The Chinese state-controlled media has already shown indication in this direction with government mouthpiece Global Times cautioning international players to not meddle in China’s internal matters.
In an article published on Monday titled ‘Hong Kong an internal not international issue,’ the media outlet cautioned foreign countries against raising the issue at Osaka, which it termed is a venue meant solely to discuss economic affairs.
The media ridiculed the western powers, alleging that they still have the colonial era hangover dating back to the 20th century. Further, it said the countries that are so fond of China’s internal matters are unable to tackle protests in their own nations.
The development comes at a time when the Chinese media, after failing to undermine the Hong Kong protests, trained its guns at the west, particularly the US for allegedly encouraging g unrest in the city.
From claims that Washington was behind the unrest in Hong Kong to the allegation that the US wanted to use the issue as a bargaining chip in the ongoing trade war, it has tried to put the US accountable for its troubles.
On the economic front Chinese firms, particularly tech giant Huawei continue to struggle to tackle the trade restrictions put forward by Washington. The US banned Huawei, the world's leader in telecom equipment and the number two smartphone producer, over concerns of security. Since then, Washington has been pressuring other countries to restrict the operations of the Chinese telecom firm.