Xi meets Lam in show of support on unrest in HK

Xi meets Lam in show of support on unrest in HK

Xi meets Lam in show of support on unrest in HK

Hong Kong entered its 22nd week of protests over a now scrapped extradition bill proposed by the government, which drew widespread condemnation. "And there is a lot of worry", pro-democracy lawmaker Charles Mok told Reuters.

Protesters in the area had initially formed a peaceful human chain before facing off with police in skirmishes up and down escalators, and spraying graffiti on a restaurant.

The party said in a statement it would support its "special administrative region" of Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997, and not tolerate any "separatist behaviour" either there or in neighbouring Macau, an ex-Portuguese colony that was handed back to Chinese rule two years later.

Riot police stormed several shopping malls packed with families and children last Sunday, following one of the worst days of violence as police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and a water cannon at crowds of black-clad demonstrators across the Chinese-ruled financial hub last Saturday.

While Hong Kong and its many businesses function normally during the week, many protests have sprung up spontaneously at weekends over the past five months. A 48-year-old suspect has been charged with wounding.

China has denied this and accuses foreign countries of inciting the protests.

Hundreds of black-clad demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes masks - which are protest symbols worldwide - rallied Tuesday night in Hong Kong's busy Tsim Sha Tsui district to mark the one-month anniversary of a government ban on facial coverings at rallies.

"People are losing patience and throwing rational judgment to the wind", said Willy Lam, an adjunct professor at the Center for China Studies at Hong Kong's Chinese University.

Wu feared the Beijing would attempt to use the same ruthless violence it does within Communist Party territory to silence Hong Kong's protesters, who grew up accustomed to freedom of expression.

Police cancelled a planned press conference on Monday after several journalists from the public broadcaster and other local media turned up wearing helmets with signs that said "investigate police brutality" and "stop police lies", and then refused to leave when asked by officials.

"We are here to tell the government that we are not afraid of them and that they should be afraid of us", masked protester Pete, 27, said in front of the huge, harbourfront neon Christmas decorations.

But protesters have largely ignored the ruling and worn masks.

Police officials have pledged to step up crackdowns on violence.

Police said the protests have been a "man-made disaster" for the city with some 45 kilometres (28 miles) of roadside railings dismantled, and 145 rail stations vandalised. He was said to have argued with others over political issues before the incident. "Continuing this rampage is a lose-lose situation for Hong Kong", Tse said.

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