Stephen Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University, told CNBC on Wednesday that anti-government protests in Hong Kong are out of control.
“Right now, we’re talking about a destructive anarchy,” the former Morgan Stanley Asia chairman said in a “Squawk Box” interview.
“Is that what standing for the people of Hong Kong means?” he asked, referring to the National Basketball Association’s continued struggles to contain the fallout from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s now-deleted tweet on Friday supporting the demonstrations in Hong Kong.
Protesters have rallied across Hong Kong over the past four months in what started as opposition to a now-withdrawn bill that would have enabled extraditions to mainland China.
However, as demonstrations in the Chinese territory morphed into an anti-government movement, there’s been increasing violence. Last week, Hong Kong police shot a protester and fired tear gas while demonstrators threw gas bombs.
“There’s a legitimate gripe over this horribly mismanaged extradition bill,” said Roach, considered a leading authority on Asia. But he contended, “It’s gotten totally out of hand. It’s aimed at tearing down anything and everything that stands for Hong Kong’s future.” He added, “I don’t support that.”
“Morey has no idea what he’s talking about,” Roach said. “It’s fine that you support democracy and freedom, but in what form do you do that?”
Despite apologies from both Morey and the league, Chinese broadcasters have pulled NBA preseason games from their networks, e-commerce sites delisted Rockets