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Iran Press TV

Plan for general strike in Hong Kong falls through

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 21 June 2020 7:02 AM

A general strike in opposition to a new national security law in Hong Kong has failed to garner support in an unofficial referendum in the Chinese city.

Organizers said on Saturday that the walkout was backed by 8,943 students and trade unionists in a city-wide poll, by far falling short of the 60,000 signatures required for a general strike to go ahead.

The unions represented almost two dozen industries, including aviation, transport, construction, technology, and tourism.

China approved the new security law for the semi-autonomous Hong Kong late last month.

The new law would criminalize sedition, secession, and subversion against the mainland. It would also pave the way for Chinese national security institutions to operate in the city for the first time since 1997, when Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule.

Western countries have harshly criticized the law, claiming that it would undermine the city's autonomy and the "one country, two systems" principle, which was established in 1997.

China has rejected the criticism as blatant interference in its domestic affairs.

Beijing insists that the new law does not pose a threat to Hong Kong's autonomy and the interests of foreign investors, noting that it is merely meant to prevent violence, which was rampant during anti-government protests there last year.

China: Harboring Hong Kong rioters will harm Taiwan

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has denounced plans by Taiwan to help Hong Kongers planning on fleeing to the island, which is self-ruled but similarly falls under Chinese sovereignty.

In a statement late on Friday, China's policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office said that offering protection to rioters from Hong Kong would be interference in the city's affairs and would only harm Taiwanese people.

"Providing shelter for and taking onto the island the rioters and elements who bring chaos to Hong Kong will only continue bring harm to Taiwan's people," it said.

Plots by forces who advocate independence for Hong Kong and Taiwan and plan to split the nation will never succeed, the office added.

Hong Kong had been rocked by turbulent protests since June last year, when the government of the semi-autonomous territory proposed a bill that would have reformed the city's extradition law. The bill was later withdrawn, but protests continued and took on violent forms.

They largely subsided when the coronavirus pandemic began, but the introduction of the new law has rekindled the protests.

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