China demands Britain stop ‘meddling’ in Hong Kong

11 Août, 2019, 16:07 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Anti-extradition bill protesters burn joss sticks in solidarity with those injured in the previous protests during a rally at Sha Tin district in Hong Kong China

Hong Kong riot police arrested a woman, Saturday, August 10, after pinning her to the ground amid "hit-and-run" demonstrations, sparking a furious response from passersby. The woman was not wearing protester gear and attire when she was arrested, and local media reported she was merely passing by the area.

Hong Kong has been beset by often violent anti-government protests for the past nine weeks, in the deepest political crisis for the territory since it was returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997, posing a serious challenge to the central government in Beijing.

On Saturday, police fired volleys of teargas to disperse protesters after activists rallied across the city.

However, it appears unlikely that Lam basically calling the protesters a bunch nihilist freeloaders will do much to help the situation and rather than disruptive demonstrators some business owners have blamed Lam's own inaction for their recent woes.

One group of protesters arrived in the Tai Wai area, where they dismantled railings along the road to set up barricades and chanted "triads, triads" at nearby police, in a reference to the territory's infamous criminal gangs.

"Beijing fears there might be a copy-cat effect in other cities in China", said Willy Lam, a longtime observer of Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Protesters discuss tactics during a standoff with police.

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Jason Liu, a 29-year-old protester who works as an arborist making sure the city's trees are healthy, said the police made him the most angry as they acted like enemies rather than protecting the people.

Anti-government protests have been carrying out co-ordinated demonstrations in different locations around Hong Kong on Sunday, one of which took place at the city's global airport for the third straight day.

Beijing has also targeted the city's corporate giants, demanding that flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways suspend staff involved in the demonstrations. She said she was anxious about escalating violence, but added that "the protesters were just trying to protect themselves against police violence".

The demonstrations that began more than two months ago in opposition to a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China have morphed into a broader bid to reverse a slide in democratic freedoms in the city. In what has become an established pattern, groups of protesters have taken over streets or besieged government buildings after largely peaceful marches and rallies earlier in the day.

Young people have been at the forefront, anxious about the erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong, while also concerned with issues such as wealth disparities in the city.

Their demands have grown to include greater democracy and the resignation of the city's leader, Carrie Lam.

"There are clashes in the recent protests and many parents are anxious", said Fion Yim, 35, representative of the organising committee for what was billed as the family protest. China has also accused foreign powers of fuelling the unrest. In 2016, a protest against the government for cracking down on unlicensed street vendors grew out of hand when participants started throwing fishballs at police, then escalated to bricks, bottles, and a cart full of boiling oil. Opponents said the bill would have eroded Hong Kong's hallmark judicial independence and exposed its residents to politicized cases.

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