UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Thousands of pro-democracy protesters marched in Hong Kong on Friday despite Chinese President Xi Jinping’s warning, as the crisis spread to London, where a Hong Kong minister was attacked.
Beijing on Friday reacted strongly to the attack by masked protesters the night before, accusing London once again of “pouring oil on the fire.” London police said they were investigating.
In Hong Kong, black-clad protesters continued to occupy several campuses, while for the fifth consecutive day the suffering of staff forced to go to work was repeated, and it was almost impossible in the city when roads were closed and public transport stopped.
The semi-autonomous region is experiencing its worst political crisis in five months since its return to China in 1997, with almost daily demonstrations and movements.
But mobilization intensified on Monday with the start of the disruption of continuing transport in the sprawling city.
– “barbaric aggression” –
On Thursday night, the protest moved to London, thousands of kilometers away, when protesters violently attacked Hong Kong’s Justice Minister Theresa Qing, who was surrounded by about a dozen masked protesters as she prepared to attend a party on Thursday evening in London. Demonstrators shouted flashlights at her shouting “deadly” to her, chanting slogans in Hong Kong.
A video of the incident showed Qing falling to the ground but it was unclear whether one of the protesters had pushed it. But she rose up moments later with no signs of infection.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam condemned the “barbaric aggression,” while Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ging Shuang said: “We call on the UK to investigate the facts immediately and to do its utmost to arrest the perpetrators to ensure the security and dignity of all Chinese employees.”
“For some time, some British politicians have confused right and wrong, withholding violent and illegal acts in Hong Kong and having direct contact with anti-Chinese rioters,” Geng Shuang said.
“If Britain does not change its behavior and continues to pour oil on fire and sow sedition and incitement, it will bring woe to itself.”
– New strategy –
For months, protesters have been moving mainly in Hong Kong in the evenings and weekends, allowing the region of 7.5 million people to function relatively normally during the day.
In the absence of concessions from the pro-Beijing executive, the protesters changed their strategy and chose to move everywhere by taking actions that disrupted the movement in several places simultaneously to drain the police.
This had an immediate effect, further complicating the movement of the population. Violence has also escalated with the deaths of two people linked to demonstrations over the past week.
Although the packaging was formerly flexible, it is currently concentrated particularly on campus.
On Friday, thousands of employees again benefited from the lunch break to march in the Central district in support of the protesters.
Most showed their five fingers by referring to the movement’s five key demands, including an investigation of police violence or democratic reforms. “The government did not bother to respond when two million people were demonstrating peacefully,” said a 25-year-old employee who calls himself Wong, referring to mass demonstrations in June and July.
– “Restore order” –
Mobilization was born out of a bill rejected in Hong Kong aimed at allowing extradition to China. Although the text was withdrawn in September, mobilization continued and its demands increased considerably.
On Thursday, President Xi Jinping warned in one of his rare comments on the situation in Hong Kong that “violent illegal activities … seriously undermine the principle of one country, two systems.”
“Putting an end to violence and chaos and restoring order is the most pressing task,” he said, according to remarks he made at a summit in Brasilia repeated by the People’s Daily, the official press service of the Communist Party of China.
The worsening crisis has made some fear that the Chinese government will lose patience and decide to send troops to Hong Kong.
The Global Times newspaper, which is close to Chinese authorities, raised concerns on Thursday by announcing that Hong Kong’s executive would “announce” a curfew over the weekend. But the paper deleted the tweet after half an hour.
The Hong Kong government said the rumors were “totally unfounded.” But other Chinese media continued to press Friday, calling on the government to act, saying curfew was still possible.
“We are waiting to see if curfews will be imposed, but firmness is a must,” China Daily wrote, while many media condemned the escalation of violence.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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