In Rare Press Conference, Chinese Government Calls Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Bill Protests ‘Evil and Criminal Acts’; Pledges Support to Lam, Administration

  • As Hong Kong enters its eighth consecutive week of anti-extradition bill protests with the most recent violent clashes over the weekend, China has condemned the protests, describing them as “horrendous incidents” and “serious damage to the rule of law.”
  • Over the weekend, more than 60 people connected to protests were arrested, which involved police responding with rubber bullets and tear gas. Barriers were set up at various locations around the city.
  • Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), remarked about the “evil and criminal acts committed by the radical elements in Hong Kong.”
  • Guang said at a news conference: “We call on the general public of Hong Kong to be aware of the grave nature of the current situation.”
  • He also insisted that it is the government’s “top priority” to “restore social order” and “defended the police forces for using due diligence in the clashes” with protesters.
  • Additionally, Guang said “irresponsible people in the West had shown sympathy to violent crimes of what Beijing considers wanton rioters in Hong Kong,” without naming a specific country.
  • According to reports, this “was the first time China’s central government held a press conference on affairs in Hong Kong since the city returned to Chinese rule in 1997.”
  • Officials have insisted that “the violence has caused serious damage to the semi-autonomous city’s international image, rule of law, and the lives of residents.”
  • Spokeswoman Xu Luying said: “We also believe that Hong Kong’s top priority… is to punish violent and unlawful acts in accordance with the law, to restore social order as soon as possible, and to maintain a good business environment.”
  • HKMAO also affirmed that it strongly supports Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her administration and called on Hong Kong residents to “unequivocally oppose and resist violence.”
  • However, Claudia Mo, a Hong Kong legislator who supports the protest movement, said: “I’m so worried what happened in Beijing today [will] actually help fan the fire. The way they say they resolutely… support Carrie Lam and the police force. They are trying to divide Hong Kong.”
  • On Sunday, “protesters tried to reach the city’s top Communist party building again, but police repelled them with more fury than they had before,” and the day before, there was protesting and chaos near the border with mainland China.

Reference Links

  • BBC: Hong Kong protests: China condemns ‘horrendous incidents’ READ
  • CBS: Hong Kong protests ramp up as China arrests dozens and slams Western support of “violent crimes” READ
  • CNA: Hong Kong protests: China condemns “horrendous” clashes, reiterates support for Carrie Lam WATCH
  • France 24: China condemns Hong Kong violence, backs Lam and police READ

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