China irate as US, UK flags feature in Hong Kong unrest
Iran Press TV
Sun Aug 4, 2019 06:41AM
Thousands of people, some carrying US and UK flags, have occupied the streets in Hong Kong, a day after violently clashing with police.
The city has been rocked by months of agitation against a proposed bill to allow people to be extradited to stand trial in mainland China.
While the the proposed bill has been suspended, protests have continued, opening a new front in an escalating face-off between the United States and China.
Washington is adamant in supporting the unrest, much to the dismay of Beijing which is wary of outside meddling in the island's affairs.
China's official news agency Xinhua wrote on Sunday that the "central government will not sit idly by and let this situation continue".
"We firmly believe that Hong Kong will be able to overcome the difficulties and challenges ahead," it said.
Months of sometimes violent demonstrations are taking a growing toll on the city's economy, as local shoppers and tourists avoid parts of one of the world's most famous shopping destinations.
On Sunday, thousands of demonstrators marched in the town of Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories, calling for a mass strike across Hong Kong on Monday.
Black-clad protesters, some of them waving flags of the United States and the United Kingdom, occupied major shopping district for hours on Saturday.
They used the area to attack a nearby police station with bricks and paint-filled bottles. This prompted police to fire tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the protesters.
Clashes, however, dragged into early Sunday morning with police saying in a statement that they have arrested at least 20 people overnight.
Police also issued a statement calling on "everyone at the scene to leave immediately", as they expressed "strong condemnation of such violent acts".
The head of the Chinese army garrison in Hong Kong, Chen Daoxiang, issued a stern warning on Thursday, saying that the protests "should not be tolerated".
He said the military was "determined to protect national sovereignty" of Hong Kong and would help put down the "intolerable" unrest if requested.
"People are getting more scared," said Chan. "But it will not change what we do. We will not [stop] because of fear."
Hong Kong has been governed under a "one-country, two-system" model since the city – a former British colony – was returned to China in 1997.
Many people in the city have expressed frustration over the violence that has disrupted their normal life in the city.
China has said the unrest is stoked by "radical protesters" who pose an "open challenge to the central government's authority".
It has also accused the US and UK of meddling in Hong Kong and warned against stirring unrest in the city through making "irresponsible remarks" and encouraging protests.
The US and Britain were among the Western nations who opposed the change in extradition law.
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