Hong Kong: A firebrand pro-Beijing politician in Hong Kong was wounded in a knife attack, the latest tit-for-tat political violence to break out in a city engulfed by seething pro-democracy protests.
The stabbing came as the city’s unpopular leader Carrie Lam said her resolve to crack down on the protesters had been bolstered by a recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The international finance hub has been convulsed by five months of huge and increasingly violent protests calling for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability.
With Beijing and Lam refusing to offer a political solution to the protesters’ grievances, violence has spiralled on both sides of the ideological divide.
In the latest incident, a man holding a bouquet approached pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho (pic) yesterday morning as the politician was campaigning in his constituency of Tuen Mun, a town
on the outskirts of Hong Kong near the border with China.
Footage posted online showed the man handing Ho the flowers and asking for a picture.
He then pulled a knife from his bag before striking his victim in the chest.
Police said three people were wounded in the incident, including the attacker, who was subdued by Ho’s aides.
A police source, who declined to be named, said that Ho received a stab wound to the left side of his chest and the attacker was arrested.
Ho, 57, was conscious when he got into the ambulance.
The stabbing came as Lam wrapped up a series of talks in mainland China with top Communist Party officials, including President Xi who threw his support behind the beleaguered leader when they met on Sunday, according to state media.
“President Xi’s trust and support to me and the Hong Kong government has strengthened our resolve to stop the violence and curb the chaos, ” she said on Tuesday as she met in Beijing with Vice-Premier Han Zheng.
Protesters have issued a list of demands, including universal suffrage and an investigation into abuses by police.
Beijing has shown no willingness to meet demonstrators’ demands and recently signalled it plans to tighten its control over Hong Kong following a four-day meeting of party leaders.
Protesters show no sign of leaving the streets with 22 consecutive weekends of unrest while fights have broken out with growing frequency.
Eight pro-democracy figures have been attacked, including protest organiser Jimmy Sham.
On Sunday, a man armed with a knife attacked democracy protesters including a local politician who had part of his ear bitten off.
But the violence is far from one-sided.
Crowds of pro-democracy protesters have routinely beaten their ideological opponents, usually in spontaneous mob violence during rallies.
Ho has become one of the most loathed establishment figures among democracy protesters.
He has long been one of the most stridently pro-Beijing politicians in the city.
But he shot to notoriety on July 21 after he was filmed shaking hands with a group of men in the town of Yuen Long who went on to beat protesters with sticks and poles, hospitalising 40 people.
He has delivered multiple speeches supporting Hong Kong’s police force and echoing Beijing’s condemnations of protesters, often using incendiary language. — AFP
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