China hits out at UK after 'perpetrators' attacked Hong Kong official in London
Iran Press TV
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:18AM
China has once again accused Britain of fueling violent protests in Hong Kong, following an incident in which "violent and lawless perpetrators" surrounded and attacked a top Hong Kong official in London.
Hong Kong Secretary for Justic, Teresa Cheng, was pushed to the ground by protesters as she made her way to an event in the British capital on Thursday.
The Chinese embassy denounced the move in a statement, saying that Cheng "was besieged and attacked by dozens of anti-China and pro-independence activists."
It added that the incident indicated that the "violent and lawless perpetrators" were now taking their violence abroad."
The spokesperson for the embassy called on the British police to investigate the incident and to strengthen security for Chinese officials and institutions in the country.
Following the incident, the Chinese Foreign Ministry lodged a formal complaint with Britain, calling on London to "bring the culprits to justice, and... safeguard the personal security and dignity of all Chinese personnel in the UK."
The ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said that failing to act on "anti-China elements" in Hong Kong will not only cause trouble in the Chinese territory, but will also "cause serious interference and destruction to the international community including the United Kingdom."
"If the British side does not change its wrong practices, and continues to add fuel to the fire, sow discord and instigate others, and make false countercharges, then it will bring calamity on itself," Geng added.
Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, also reacted to the "barbaric" incident, describing the move as a violation of "the principles of a civilized society."
A statement by the Hong Kong government said that Cheng suffered "serious bodily harm."
The incident this week occurred amid the escalation of violence in the Chinese territory.
Violent protests in Hong Kong entered a new phase this week after a masked protester was hit by a live bullet and "rioters" poured "flammable liquid" on a man and set him on fire.
Intense street battles, violent clashes at universities and the city's central business district, brought the city to a standstill and prompted police to warn that the territory is on the "brink of total collapse."
In a separate incident on Wednesday, a 70-year-old man was struck by "hard objects hurled by masked rioters," according to the government.
The man, a street cleaner, was attacked during his lunch break and died in hospital on Thursday, police announced.
City paralyzed for 5th day, Xi calls for restoration of order
The city remained paralyzed for a fifth day on Friday as protesters blocked some highways and built barricades in university campuses.
They used barriers and other debris to block the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, which links Hong Kong to the Kowloon district.
The escalation of violence prompted Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to call on authorities to "restore order" and punish "violent criminals," in his first ever public remarks on the crisis.
Xi, who was on a visit to Brazil, said on Thursday that "continuing radical violent crimes" in Hong Kong have "seriously trampled on the rule of law" and that "stopping the violence and restoring order" is the city's "most urgent task" at present.
He said that the violence has "seriously challenged the baseline principle of 'one country two systems'."
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.
The semi-autonomous Chinese territory has been rocked by turbulent protests since June, when some people began protesting against a proposed extradition bill across the city. The proposal has since been withdrawn.
The Chinese government says the United States and Britain have been fanning the flames of unrest in Hong Kong by supporting the protesters.
Late on Thursday, an official Chinese media outlet accused opposition forces in Hong Kong and abroad of "brainwashing students" and "sowing anti-China chaos" in the universities of Hong Kong.
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