Riots paralyze Hong Kong; US pushes bill after China warning
Iran Press TV
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:18AM
In Hong Kong, protesters have paralyzed parts of the Asian financial hub for a third day as police warned that the territory is on the "brink of total collapse."
Wearing face masks, about 1,000 protesters hurled bricks and blocked roads in the heart of the city's Central business district at lunchtime on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Most schools and several universities remained closed for a third day.
On Tuesday, they struck the city's transport network, built barricades on roads, set fires and threw petrol bombs, chairs and other objects at the police which fired tear gas and water cannon in response.
Police spokesman Kong Wing-cheung said on Tuesday afternoon that they had "countless examples of rioters using random and indiscriminate violence against innocent" people.
"Hong Kong's rule of law has been pushed to the brink of total collapse as masked rioters recklessly escalate their violence under the hope that they can get away with it," he said.
US Senate pushes for Hong Kong bill
As violence rose, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he wanted the Senate to pass legislation to support protesters in Hong Kong.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused China of undermining Hong Kong's autonomy and suppressing protests.
The legislation would subject Hong Kong's special US trading status to annual reviews and provide for sanctions against officials deemed responsible for undermining Hong Kong's "fundamental freedoms and autonomy."
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill in mid-October, drawing a strong reaction from Beijing which said the lawmakers had "sinister intentions."
The Foreign Relations Committee approved a similar measure in September, but it has not been scheduled for a vote by the full Senate, which must pass the bill before it can be sent to President Donald Trump.
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