HONG KONG (Reuters) – The Chinese Communist Party stated on Tuesday it might “perfect” the system for selecting the chief of Hong Kong after months of anti-government protests, as police within the ex-British colony fired water cannon to break up a Guy Fawkes-themed march.
The occasion stated in a press release it might help its “special administrative region” of Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997, and never tolerate any “separatist behavior” both there or in neighboring Macau, an ex-Portuguese colony that was handed again to Chinese rule two years later.
Some protesters in Hong Kong, indignant at perceived Chinese meddling in its freedoms, have referred to as for independence in generally violent unrest, a crimson line for Beijing. China denies interference.
As the occasion assertion was launched by Xinhua information company, Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam stated she had held a brief assembly with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Shanghai.
“He expressed care and concern about Hong Kong, especially given the social disturbances that we have seen in the last five months and he expressed support for the various action taken by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government,” she instructed reporters.
Referring to the muse of the 1997 deal beneath which Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule, Lam stated: “…In strict accordance with the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ (we will continue) upholding the rule of law and trying to put an end to the violence.”
The “one country, two systems” components ensures Hong Kong’s freedoms, together with an unbiased judicial system, for 50 years.
Lam denied extensively reported rumors that her authorities was contemplating an amnesty for protesters charged with offences, one of many calls for of the protesters. “In simple terms, it will not happen,” she stated.
BONFIRE NIGHT PROTESTS
After gatecrashing fancy-dress Halloween festivities on Oct. 31, lots of of Hong Kong protesters marked Guy Fawkes Day on Tuesday within the Tsim Sha Tsui vacationer district of Kowloon by carrying the white, smiling Guy Fawkes masks made standard by anti-establishment hackers, the movie “V for Vendetta” and protesters globally.
Some protesters vandalized visitors lights and a restaurant perceived as being pro-Beijing, prompting police to transfer in with the water cannon, close to the science museum, as they’ve executed on many nights throughout 5 months of demonstrations. Some protesters have been detained whereas others ran off.
Guy Fawkes Day, additionally referred to as Bonfire Night, is well known with fireworks and bonfires each Nov. 5 in Britain. Effigies of “guys” are burnt, marking the evening in 1605 when Fawkes was arrested for a “gunpowder plot” to blow up parliament.
“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, stated in entrance of the massive, harborfront neon Christmas decorations.
Lam banned face masks final month, invoking colonial-era emergency powers for the primary time in additional than 50 years, however protesters have largely ignored the ruling.
China’s Communist Party, in a prolonged assertion about choices reached at a key management assembly recognized as a plenum final week, stated it might enhance the nationwide safety system in Hong Kong, as properly as in Macau, although it gave no particulars.
The occasion determined to “establish a robust legal system and enforcement mechanism to safeguard national security in the special administrative regions and support them to strengthen law enforcement”.
The occasion will “perfect” the appointment and dismissal mechanisms for the leaders and senior officers of the 2 territories, it added, reiterating feedback from a Chinese parliament official final week. Again, no particulars got.
It can even good the system beneath which the occasion has full jurisdictional energy over Hong Kong, in accordance with the structure, Xinhua stated.
The demonstrations in Hong Kong started over a since-scrapped extradition invoice and escalated in mid-June towards China. Protesters have stored up their requires common suffrage and an unbiased inquiry into alleged police brutality, amongst different calls for.
The protests, which pose the gravest problem to Xi since he got here to energy in 2012, have acquired broad help.
The quantity of people that participate within the principally weekend rallies has dwindled from the thousands and thousands who participated in June, however violence and vandalism have escalated. Authorities have refused permits for a lot of latest protests, making them unlawful from the outset and activists liable to be arrested.
There have been many accidents within the protests, however no deaths. A 22-year-old pupil at a Hong Kong college who fell throughout protests on the weekend was in essential situation on Tuesday, hospital authorities stated.
A person stabbed not less than two individuals on Sunday and bit off a part of a politician’s ear earlier than being crushed by protesters. A 48-year-old suspect has been charged with wounding.
Lam expressed her sympathies for the wounded, singling out the 22-year-old pupil.
Reporting by Twinnie Siu, Donny Kwok, Farah Master, Sharon Lam, Sarah Wu, Kate Lamb and John Geddie in Hong Kong and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree and Nick Macfie; Editing by Mark Heinrich