BEIJING/HONG KONG: China on Tuesday condemned violent protests in Hong Kong where the protesters stormed the city’s legislature.
China described the protest as “undisguised challenge” to the formula under which the city is ruled.
A representative of China’s Hong Kong affairs office denounced the demonstrators, who are furious about proposed legislation allowing extraditions to China, and said Beijing supports holding criminals responsible, state media said.
The former British colony of Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom to protest and an independent judiciary.
On Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the handover was observed.
Many Hong Kong residents say the extradition bill is the latest step by China-backed administration to give greater control to China.
“Seriously violating the law, the act tramples the rule of law in Hong Kong, undermines social order and the fundamental interests of Hong Kong, and is an undisguised challenge to the bottom line of ‘one country, two systems’, Xinhua news agency quoted a Hong Kong affairs office spokesman as saying. “We strongly condemn this act.”
Debris including umbrellas, hard hats and water bottles was among the few signs left of the mayhem that had engulfed parts of the city on Monday and overnight after protesters stormed and ransacked the Legislative Council, or mini-parliament.
Police cleared roads near the heart of the financial center, paving the way for business to return to normal.
However, government offices, where protesters smashed computers and spray-painted “anti-extradition” and slurs against the police and government on chamber walls, were closed.