Chinese state media have been criticized for "blatant Orwellian lies" in the Hong Kong protests after the China Daily reported that more than 800,000 people had promised support for extradition reforms.
It comes after the travel tips have been updated for Australians headed for Hong Kong as violent protests continue on the proposed laws to allow extradition to China.
The famous Australian security expert Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College of the Australian National University, took this morning on Twitter to blow up the report, which sought to minimize the violent protests.
"Any media organization that accepts China Daily propaganda should reconsider and condemn this blatant Orwellian lie," said Professor Medcalf.
"The Chinese state media now claim that the 800,000 protesters in Hong Kong were there to support extradition laws, not to oppose them."
The China Daily The report focuses on representatives of various Hong Kong organizations "urging the government to implement the new laws" and an online petition that has obtained over 800,000 signatures.
"At midnight more than 800,000 people had promised support in a campaign of signatures throughout the city online and at the stalls, organized by a local alliance of important political, economic and legal personalities, opposing a protest of around 240,000 people on Sunday to oppose the extradition account review, according to the police, "the report states.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, revealed the night that Australia has raised concerns about the Hong Kong government "at senior level" on the Beijing-backed plan to allow extradition to China.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has updated its Smartraveller website to warn Australians visiting Hong Kong to avoid large public gatherings.
"You may encounter demonstrations or protests. Avoid large public meetings, as they could become violent," the council said.
The degree of safety of DFAT for Hong Kong has not changed and Australians are however recommended to adopt normal safety measures.
Minister Payne issued an appeal for calm during the night, urging both sides to "show restraint and avoid violence" after protesters clashed with the police.
He also revealed that the Australian general consul in Hong Kong, Michaela Browning, had expressed concerns about the proposed extradition amendments "at the highest levels within the government and with executive and legislative councils".
"The Australian government believes it is important that any changes to Hong Kong's extradition agreements be pursued in line with regular government processes and resolved in a way that fully respects Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and defends rights and the freedoms enshrined in the Hong Kong base Act under the structure "one country, two systems," Senator Payne said in a statement.
He added that Australia had "substantial interest" in Hong Kong's success, which housed one of its largest expatriate communities globally and was its largest commercial presence in Asia.
"This is an intense public interest and concern of the international community at events in Hong Kong," Senator Payne said.
"Australia supports the right of people to peacefully protest and to exercise their freedom of speech, and we invite all parties to show restraint and avoid violence."
VIOLENT DISCOUNTS BETWEEN POLICE AND PROTESTER
After a day of sit-ins, tear gas and police clashes, Hong Kong students and civil rights activists promised to protest the extradition proposal that became a lightning rod for concerns over greater Chinese control and the erosion of civil liberties in the former British colony
Violent manifestations were the ultimate expression of widespread public anger.
According to reports, 72 people were taken to local hospitals, with two people in serious condition and 19 in stable conditions.
The Hong Kong CEO, Carrie Lam, who is supporting the passage of the law, described the protests as "organized riots" and asked to restore calm.
"The actions of revolt that damage the peaceful society, ignoring the law and discipline, are unacceptable for any civilized society," he said in a video statement.
International concern continues to grow with the European Union claiming that Hong Kong's rights "must be respected", while US President Donald Trump said he hopes protesters can "work" with Beijing.
The police used tear gas, rubber bullets and batons to fight the crowd of protesters dressed in black – most of them young people and students – that the demanding authorities cancel the law supported by Beijing.
The scenes echoed the "Movement for Umbrellas" in favor of democracy in 2014, where protesters demanding more democratic rights stopped two sections of the city for two months and fought the police, but did not obtain concessions from Beijing.
This time the police seemed determined not to let the protesters keep ground while the young demonstrators responded politely, throwing bullets including metal poles, bottles and bricks.
Tear gas sent the crowd to scatter, but riot police continued to fight cat and mouse battles with their opponents in the evening, pushing them to the town's shopping mall and blocking it.
The injured police and the protesters were seen to be taken away and the Hong Kong stock market was also injured, closing at 1.7 percent.
THE FEAR OF UNIQUE FREEDOMS
In recent years Hong Kong has been upset by political unrest, while fears are rising that Beijing is trying to impress upon the city's unique freedoms and culture.
The most recent violence is an unprecedented escalation of the conflict.
"In terms of level of violence, today was the most serious since the passage of 1997," said political analyst Dixon Sing.
"Today's events reflect a huge gap in the trust Hong Kong citizens have towards the government. They increasingly believe that the Hong Kong government is a group of puppets serving Beijing's interests," he added.
The proposed law would allow Hong Kong to send suspects to other jurisdictions around the world, including China.
Hong Kong leaders say it is necessary to eliminate loopholes and prevent the city from being a sanctuary for fugitives. They say that safeguards are in place to ensure that Beijing's political critics will not be targeted.
But it is profoundly unpopular, with the fears that people will get caught in the opaque courtyards of the mainland, leaving them vulnerable to a judicial system that acts at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party.
The opposition to the bill combined an unusually large cross section of the city from influential businessmen and lawyers to religious groups, student unions and workers.
Police chief Stephen Lo defended his officers, saying he showed restraint until the "mafia" tried to assault parliament.
"These violent protesters continued to charge our line of defense and used very dangerous weapons, including … throwing metal barricades at us and throwing bricks," he said.
But Amnesty International said the police "took advantage of the violent acts of a small minority as a pretext to use excessive force against the vast majority of peaceful protesters".
"The only responsible thing to do now is that Carrie Lam will withdraw the account of evil, or at least welcome it to resolve the crisis," said pro-democracy politician Fernando Cheung.
"I will continue to fight," protestor Kevin Leung, 20, said. "As long as our goal is not achieved, we will continue."