China backs Lam, condemns 'radical elements' for HK violence

China backs Lam, condemns 'radical elements' for HK violence”

While China has issued increasingly shrill condemnations of the protests in the last two weeks, it has largely left the city's pro-Beijing administration to deal with the situation.

"No civilized society or rule of law society will tolerate rampant violence", said Yang Guang, a spokesman for the council on Hong Kong affairs.

Beijing denies interfering in Hong Kong affairs, but many residents worry about what they see as an erosion of those freedoms and a relentless march towards mainland control.

Xu Luying, a spokeswoman for the office, said maintaining a sound business environment in Hong Kong is crucial.

"They talk about Hong Kong moving on from political conflict and protecting the rule of law, but everyone knows that it's them who are the main instigators of this massive political crisis we have in Hong Kong right now", he said.

The remarks came just hours after communist mouthpiece the People's Daily warned that Hong Kong's "bright future" lay in its "being backed by the motherland".

Mr Yang Guang said the violent protests had seriously damaged the city's rule of law, economy and worldwide image, and called on people "from all walks of life in Hong Kong" to oppose and resist such actions.

As a former British colony, Hong Kong has its own legal and judicial systems, and has been promised "a high degree of autonomy" from the Chinese government except in foreign and defence affairs.

As the city cleaned up Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce's Hong Kong chapter urged government action to address grievances underlying the protests, saying steps must be taken to restore sagging confidence and calling for the withdrawal of extradition legislation that sparked demonstrations.

Echoing their demands, he said a "general pardon, including unlawful acts of police and protesters" during this period and an independent inquiry are "needed in the short run".

While experts still consider this option a last resort, it has not been ruled out and Beijing could defend such a decision as procedural if Hong Kong leaders continue to appear unable or unwilling to restore order. Instead, this press conference repeated views already found in China's state media.

The news comes after a weekend of protests and confrontations between the police and protesters which ended around midnight on Sunday night.

The row intensified as police were accused of using excessive force on anti-extradition bill protesters.

The semi-autonomous territory has been rocked by demonstrations over the past two months that began over changes to extradition laws but have since grown into a wider movement against the Beijing-backed government and alleged police brutality. "That won't help the governance and political crisis that Hong Kong is facing".

"It is not surprising there are some disagreements and even major disputes about certain issues, but if we fall into the whirlpool of "overpoliticization" and artificially create division and opposition, it will not only serve no objective, but will also severely hinder economic and social development", said The People's Daily.

A protester throws a tear gas canister which was sacked by riot police during a protest in Hong Kong, Sunday, July 28, 2019.

"Hence, the SAR government and the police must act now in accordance with the laws, and punish all those perpetrators of violence as prescribed by the law", the commentary read. He outlined three bottom lines for the city: No harm to national security, no challenge to the central government's authority and no using Hong Kong as a base to undermine China.

Public anger reached new levels a week ago when a pro-government mob of men wearing white shirts and armed with sticks attacked protesters in Yuen Long, in Hong Kong's rural New Territories where numerous surrounding villages are known for triad gang connections and their staunch support for the pro-Beijing establishment. They now also want protesters that were arrested to be exonerated. The events followed a day of clashes in the northwestern suburb of Yuen Long, where a stick-wielding mob had attacked activists a week earlier.

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