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China accuses Hong Kong protesters of harming city’s prosperity during ‘revolution like Arab Spring’

China’s central government today reiterated its support for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, as well as the city’s police, and called on Hong Kong people to oppose violence following another weekend of clashes between protesters and police.

Hong Kong has been rocked by protests over the past two months against a proposed bill that would allow people to be extradited from the city to stand trial in Communist Party-controlled courts in mainland China. 

The mass display of opposition to the bill has morphed into a wider pro-democracy movement that has thrown down the most significant challenge to Beijing’s authority since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997. 

China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said at an extremely rare media briefing in Beijing that Hong Kong’s government and society needed to come up with more effective ways to help young people address concerns over housing, employment and other issues.

Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters defied authorities to hold an unsanctioned march through Hong Kong on Sunday night, a day after riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse another illegal gathering, plunging the financial hub deeper into crisis. China’s central government today reiterated its support for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, as well as the city’s police, and called on Hong Kong people to oppose violence

Riot police fire tear gas at protesters during a protest at Sai Wan district in Hong Kong on Sunday. Hong Kong has been rocked by protests over the past two months against a proposed bill that would allow people to be extradited from the city to stand trial in Communist Party-controlled courts in mainland China

Riot police fire tear gas at protesters during a protest at Sai Wan district in Hong Kong on Sunday. Hong Kong has been rocked by protests over the past two months against a proposed bill that would allow people to be extradited from the city to stand trial in Communist Party-controlled courts in mainland China

The mass display of opposition to the bill has morphed into a wider pro-democracy movement that has thrown down the most significant challenge to Beijing's authority since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997

The mass display of opposition to the bill has morphed into a wider pro-democracy movement that has thrown down the most significant challenge to Beijing’s authority since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 

China's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said at an extremely rare media briefing in Beijing that Hong Kong's government and society needed to come up with more effective ways to help young people address concerns over housing, employment and other issues. Yang Guang (above), the spokesperson for the office, condemned protesters who used violence

China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said at an extremely rare media briefing in Beijing that Hong Kong’s government and society needed to come up with more effective ways to help young people address concerns over housing, employment and other issues. Yang Guang (above), the spokesperson for the office, condemned protesters who used violence

Yang Guang, the spokesperson for the office, condemned protesters who used violence. 

‘The rule of law is what the people of Hong Kong are proud of. Violence is violence; unlawful acts are unlawful. It doesn’t change, no matter what the target is. The central government supports the relevant government departments and police to protect the rule of law,’ he said, adding that ‘radical protesters’ caused more than 20 injuries, including an officer who had his finger bitten off.  

Yang also reiterated that ‘one country, two systems’ is the best way to govern Hong Kong and the central government will not change the direction of the model.

He also cited three bottom lines of the model: No harm to national security, no challenge to the central government’s authority and Hong Kong’s Basic Law, and no using Hong Kong as a base to undermine China. 

China said on Monday that attempts by what it called some irresponsible figures in the West to stoke turbulence in Hong Kong and contain China's development will fail. Yang Guang, spokesman for China's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks at a media briefing in Beijing

China said on Monday that attempts by what it called some irresponsible figures in the West to stoke turbulence in Hong Kong and contain China’s development will fail. Yang Guang, spokesman for China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks at a media briefing in Beijing

A woman protects herself after police fired a round of tear gas at her during a protest on Sunday. Police repeatedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets to drive back protesters blocking Hong Kong streets with road signs and umbrellas Sunday in another night of pitched battles as protests for democracy in the Chinese territory escalate

A woman protects herself after police fired a round of tear gas at her during a protest on Sunday. Police repeatedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets to drive back protesters blocking Hong Kong streets with road signs and umbrellas Sunday in another night of pitched battles as protests for democracy in the Chinese territory escalate

For more than seven weeks, protesters have taken to Hong Kong streets, initially to demand the scrapping of a proposed extradition law that would send suspects to mainland China to face trials. The legislation is seen as a threat to Hong Kong's freedoms that were guaranteed for 50 years when China took back control of the former British colony in 1997

For more than seven weeks, protesters have taken to Hong Kong streets, initially to demand the scrapping of a proposed extradition law that would send suspects to mainland China to face trials. The legislation is seen as a threat to Hong Kong’s freedoms that were guaranteed for 50 years when China took back control of the former British colony in 1997

A protester throws back a tear gas canister towards the riot police during a demonstration on Sunday

A protester throws back a tear gas canister towards the riot police during a demonstration on Sunday

Yang said the central government is calling on various sectors to firmly oppose violence, safeguard the rule of law, and asked society to eliminate political conflicts as soon as possible.

Attempts by ‘irresponsible figures’ in the West to stoke turbulence in Hong Kong and contain China’s development will fail, he added.

In an editorial on Monday, the state-run China Daily newspaper signalled the growing concern in Beijing.

‘What is happening in Hong Kong is no longer the airing of real or imagined grievances,’ the editorial said.

‘It is of the same hue as the colour revolutions that were instigated in the Middle East and North Africa – local anti-government elements colluding with external forces to topple governments utilising modern communication technology to spread rumours, distrust and fear.’

In an editorial on Monday, the state-run China Daily newspaper signalled the growing concern in Beijing. 'What is happening in Hong Kong is no longer the airing of real or imagined grievances,' the editorial said

In an editorial on Monday, the state-run China Daily newspaper signalled the growing concern in Beijing. ‘What is happening in Hong Kong is no longer the airing of real or imagined grievances,’ the editorial said

Earlier Sunday, protesters rallied at a park in Hong Kong's financial district before marching out in several directions despite not winning police approval for a public procession. It was the second straight day that protesters took to the streets without official permission

Earlier Sunday, protesters rallied at a park in Hong Kong’s financial district before marching out in several directions despite not winning police approval for a public procession. It was the second straight day that protesters took to the streets without official permission

Police said they had arrested at least 49 people over Sunday's protests for offences including unauthorised assembly and possession of offensive weapons. Medical authorities said 16 people were injured

Police said they had arrested at least 49 people over Sunday’s protests for offences including unauthorised assembly and possession of offensive weapons. Medical authorities said 16 people were injured

Riot police officers pin a demonstrator to the ground as they arrest him during a demonstration on Sunday

Riot police officers pin a demonstrator to the ground as they arrest him during a demonstration on Sunday

In a commentary published today, state-run People’s Daily has called on the Hong Kong police to take immediate and forceful action to end the unrest and restore law and order in the city.

‘We cannot condone the lawbreakers just because they are holding up high the banner of “freedom and democracy” or wearing the hat of “civil disobedience”,’ it said. 

The article repeated Beijing’s assertion that the anti-government protests in Hong Kong were instigated by western forces, backing the claim by quoting statements from the US State Department on respecting the ‘freedom of speech and assembly’ by the protesters.

The press conference was the first time the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office has held a press briefing on the city since the 1997 handover.  

'The rule of law is what the people of Hong Kong are proud of. Violence is violence; unlawful acts are unlawful. It doesn't change, no matter what the target is. The central government supports the relevant government departments and police to protect the rule of law,' Yang Guang said, adding that 'radical protesters' caused more than 20 injuries, including an officer who had his finger bitten off

‘The rule of law is what the people of Hong Kong are proud of. Violence is violence; unlawful acts are unlawful. It doesn’t change, no matter what the target is. The central government supports the relevant government departments and police to protect the rule of law,’ Yang Guang said, adding that ‘radical protesters’ caused more than 20 injuries, including an officer who had his finger bitten off

Riot Police advance towards protesters using tear gases outside Western District Police Station in Hong Kong on Sunday

Riot Police advance towards protesters using tear gases outside Western District Police Station in Hong Kong on Sunday

Riot police and protesters during a stand-off at Sheung Wan on Sunday night. The unprecedented protests with huge turnouts - as well as clashes and the sacking of parliament - have had little luck persuading Beijing or Hong Kong's leaders

Riot police and protesters during a stand-off at Sheung Wan on Sunday night. The unprecedented protests with huge turnouts – as well as clashes and the sacking of parliament – have had little luck persuading Beijing or Hong Kong’s leaders

Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations in the last two weeks, but has left it to the city's government to deal with the situation

Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations in the last two weeks, but has left it to the city’s government to deal with the situation

Huge crowds made their way through the main island's streets (pictured) in a now-familiar scene, but Sunday's marches had a key difference - police had banned them

Huge crowds made their way through the main island’s streets (pictured) in a now-familiar scene, but Sunday’s marches had a key difference – police had banned them

That follows another weekend of clashes between protesters and police, who again fired rubber bullets and tear gas as the demonstrations grow increasingly violent.

Police sought to defend China’s main representative office in Hong Kong from protesters on Sunday for the second consecutive weekend, with the building near the heart of the city fortified with barricades.

Police said they had arrested at least 49 people over Sunday’s protests for offences including unauthorised assembly and possession of offensive weapons. Medical authorities said 16 people were injured.

Police said protesters hurled bricks, bottles, paint bombs, corrosive liquids and used a crossbow to fire metal ball bearings. Bows and arrows were also later recovered from the scene, the force said.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement today that the UK ‘condemn any violence but the right of peaceful protest must be respected.’ 

Sunday's violence came a day after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters holding a banned rally against suspected pro-government triad gangs in a town near the border with mainland China

Sunday’s violence came a day after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters holding a banned rally against suspected pro-government triad gangs in a town near the border with mainland China

Sunday's violence came a day after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters holding a banned rally against suspected pro-government triad gangs in a town near the border with mainland China

Sunday’s violence came a day after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters holding a banned rally against suspected pro-government triad gangs in a town near the border with mainland China

Police said protesters hurled bricks, bottles, paint bombs, corrosive liquids and used a crossbow to fire metal ball bearings. Bows and arrows were also later recovered from the scene, the force said

Police said protesters hurled bricks, bottles, paint bombs, corrosive liquids and used a crossbow to fire metal ball bearings. Bows and arrows were also later recovered from the scene, the force said

The main city streets looked like a war zone as tear gas was again fired at the protesters (pictured). they came prepared with gas masks again today for the protest

The main city streets looked like a war zone as tear gas was again fired at the protesters (pictured). they came prepared with gas masks again today for the protest

Sunday’s violence came a day after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters holding a banned rally against suspected pro-government triad gangs in a town near the border with mainland China.

The gangs had beaten up democracy demonstrators there the previous weekend.

Police made 13 arrests that day while hospital authorities said a total of 24 people were hurt, two seriously. 

Despite facing unprecedented levels of public anger and frustration that has seen millions take to the streets, the city’s pro-Beijing leadership have appeared unable, or unwilling, to end the chaos.

Despite facing unprecedented levels of public anger and frustration that has seen millions take to the streets, the city's pro-Beijing leadership have appeared unable, or unwilling, to end the chaos

Despite facing unprecedented levels of public anger and frustration that has seen millions take to the streets, the city’s pro-Beijing leadership have appeared unable, or unwilling, to end the chaos

Riot police officers take a break on the side of the road after they have cleared the demonstrators from the area after a rally

Riot police officers take a break on the side of the road after they have cleared the demonstrators from the area after a rally

Pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo said the city was now trapped in a 'vicious cycle' where huge peaceful marches that have been ignored by the government end with violence between police and small groups of hardcore protesters

Pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo said the city was now trapped in a ‘vicious cycle’ where huge peaceful marches that have been ignored by the government end with violence between police and small groups of hardcore protesters

'You see force being escalated on both sides. But then this is a huge imbalance because the police are in possession of deadly weapons. This sums up Hong Kong today,' she told AFP

‘You see force being escalated on both sides. But then this is a huge imbalance because the police are in possession of deadly weapons. This sums up Hong Kong today,’ she told AFP

The demonstrations were triggered by a now-suspended bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, but have evolved into a call for wider democratic reforms and a halt to eroding freedoms.

In a direct challenge to Beijing, the protesters have seized opportunities to target and deface symbols of China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo said the city was now trapped in a ‘vicious cycle’ where huge peaceful marches that have been ignored by the government end with violence between police and small groups of hardcore protesters.

‘You see force being escalated on both sides. But then this is a huge imbalance because the police are in possession of deadly weapons. This sums up Hong Kong today,’ she told AFP.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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