Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Hong Kong violence has just begun

Anti government protesters using umbrellas as shields Anti government protesters using umbrellas
Patty Aguilar | 03 July, 2019, 06:58

A tense calm descended on Hong Kong early on Tuesday, hours after police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who had stormed the legislature in chaotic scenes to protest against an extradition bill in a direct challenge to Beijing.

The banner reads: "There are no thugs, only tyranny".

Police in riot gear faced them in loose formation about 20 metres down the road. Officers grabbed the cart after it became wedged in the broken glass and repelled the protesters with pepper spray.

After news broke on Monday (July 1) that hundreds of Hong Kong protestors had managed to break into LegCo, Badiucao created an illustration to commemorate the event.

The group of breakaway protesters smashed their way into the LegCo building.

Eddie Chu, a member of the Legislative Council, underlined, "If this is left to the police and Beijing to solve, we will face the greatest tragedy we've seen in 22 years" of Chinese rule.

"When there is trouble in Hong Kong, when things turn sour and there is violence in the streets, our fear is that if the police is unable to control what is happening here, there's a remote risk that the [Chinese army] would get involved", Tong said.

The bill has ignited mass protests for most of the month of June, continuing after Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said previously she would suspend the bill and apologized. Photo taken on July 1, 2019.

Lam had used the term "mob" to criticize those who protested the extradition measure on June 12.

Apart from the protesters who stormed the legislature, thousands of people on Monday marched peacefully in the afternoon from centrally located Victoria Park through the city's financial core in opposition to Lam's administration.

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On Monday, Lam said at a speech she had learned to be more "responsive to the aspirations, sentiments and opinions of the community".

Screens went black on the BBC and CNN when they showed related reports in mainland China, as has happened during previous Hong Kong protests.

The demonstrations sparked by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam's now-shelved push for unpopular extradition legislation have turned a glaring spotlight on China's "one country, two systems" framework for ruling the former British colony, the same formula it envisages imposing on self-governing Taiwan.

"We have marched, staged sit-ins... but the government has remained unmoved", Joey, a 26-year-old protester, told AFP as she walked over shattered glass inside the building.

"These serious illegal actions trample on the rule of law in Hong Kong, undermine Hong Kong's social order and harm the fundamental interests of Hong Kong", the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council stated. "The Communist Party revoked our rights and freedoms and tried to deny us democracy", he said. "She is protected by our flawed system".

The largely student-led demonstrations in Hong Kong have found broad support among their Taiwanese counterparts, prompting sympathy protests outside Hong Kong's representative office in the capital, Taipei. The area around Golden Bauhinia Square, where the ceremony takes place, has been shut down since Saturday.

Hong Kong's leaders are instead chosen by a 1,200 strong committee stacked with Beijing loyalists, and Lam secured 777 votes - becoming the first woman elevated to the city's top job.

Osborne, who is tipped for a role in a Boris Johnson government from a perch in the House of Lords, has not changed his strongly pro-Chinese views, and brought Johnson along on an enthusiastic journey through China in 2013. It's harming the rule of law. That tapped into deeper running concerns over Beijing's moves to reduce the scope for democracy and civil society in Hong Kong, which was promised it could retain its own Western-style legal, economic and political institutions until 2047.

Geng also reiterated China's rejection of any foreign nation commenting on or intervening in protest actions in Hong Kong, saying such matters were a purely Chinese affair and other countries "must not support any violent criminals in any form, and not send any misleading signals or take any erroneous actions".

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