BEIJING/HONG KONG: China condemned violent protests in Hong Kong as an “undisguised challenge” to the formula under which the city is ruled, hours after police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who stormed and trashed the legislature.
A representative of China’s Hong Kong affairs office denounced the demonstrators yesterday, who are furious about proposed legislation allowing extraditions to China, and said Beijing supports holding criminals responsible, state media said.
The former British colony of Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom to protest and an independent judiciary.
Monday was the 22nd anniversary of the handover.
Beijing denies interfering, but for many Hong Kong residents, the extradition Bill is the latest step in a relentless march towards mainland control.
“Seriously violating the law, the act tramples the rule of law in Hong Kong, undermines social order and the fundamental interests of Hong Kong, and is an undisguised challenge to the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems’, Xinhua news agency quoted a Hong Kong affairs office spokesman, adding: “We strongly condemn this act.”
Debris, including umbrellas, hard hats and water bottles, was among the few signs left of the mayhem that had engulfed parts of the city on Monday and overnight after protesters stormed and ransacked the Legislative Council, or mini-parliament.
Police cleared roads near the heart of the financial centre, paving the way for business to return to normal.
However, government offices, where protesters smashed computers and spray-painted “anti-extradition” as well as slurs against the police and government on chamber walls, were closed. — Reuters
Did you find this article insightful?