Hong Kong leader says Chinese military could intervene in protests

Hong Kong leader says Chinese military could intervene in protests”

An anti-government protester wearing a mask attends a lunch time protest, after local media reported on an expected ban on face masks under emergency law, at Central, in Hong Kong on October 4, 2019.

USA skateboard brand Vans is facing a Hong Kong boycott after it removed a protest-inspired shoe from a design competition.

Sunday's protest also drew a first warning from the Chinese military after some demonstrators pointed lasers at one of its barracks in Hong Kong. Xi's attempts to control the region have been varied but frequent, from arrests of bookshop owners selling anti-government literature to attempting to control the selection of candidates for elections in Hong Kong.

In the blog post, Chan noted Hong Kong's $430 billion in reserves and foreign exchange assets, equivalent to twice its currency base, as well as fiscal reserves exceeding HK$1.1 trillion ($140 billion), equivalent to the government's 23-month expenditure.

The mask ban is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine, which is light in comparison to those accused of rioting, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years.

Two people - a male university student and a 38-year-old woman - appeared in court on Monday charged with illegally wearing masks, and supporters wore their own face coverings in the courtroom.

Police said "masked rioters" had damaged public property and facilities in metro stations and were guilty of arson.

Many said they feared the mask ban was just the first of more emergency orders to come. Riot police fired tear gas, charged at crowds and took position on streets.

The worst clashes to date erupted on Tuesday as China celebrated 70 years of Communist Party rule, with a teenager shot and wounded by police as he attacked an officer.

Police regional chief Kwok Yam-yung said 241 people were detained in widespread "atrocities" over the last four days that saw ferocious attacks on officers and those with opposing views.

What started as opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill has grown into a pro-democracy movement against what is seen as Beijing's tightening grip on the city, which protesters say undermines a "one country, two systems" formula promised when Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule.

Donald Trump remarked on the "great people over there" and said "they're flying the American flag". The chaos has led many shops and public services to close and prompted panic buying in some areas.

China has dismissed those accusations, saying foreign governments, including Britain and the United States, have fanned anti-China sentiment.

Chinese state television said it would not air National Basketball Association exhibition games played in the country this week after a tweet by a Houston Rockets executive backing the protests.

The number of mainland citizens entering Hong Kong from Shenzhen's Luohu port was down nearly 48 per cent compared to last year's holiday, the immigration administration said.

Lam appealed to property developers and landlords to offer relief to retailers whose businesses had been hit.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the ban was needed to contain the unrest, which began almost four months ago and has seen millions of people take to the streets demanding China stop strangling their freedoms.

"I can not tell you categorically now under what circumstances we will do extra things, including ... calling on the Central Government to help", Ms Lam said.

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