Tag Archives: Kong

UPDATE 1-U.S. condemns latest Hong Kong violence, urges both sides to de-escalate

UPDATE 1-U.S. condemns latest Hong Kong violence, urges both sides to de-escalateThe United States on Monday condemned “unjustified use of deadly force” in the latest Hong Kong violence and urged police and civilians alike to de-escalate the situation, a senior Trump administration official said. “Hong Kong police and civilians alike have a responsibility to de-escalate and avoid violent confrontations,” the U.S. administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, after a weekend of stepped-up clashes in pro-democracy protests across the Chinese-ruled territory, a former British colony. Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 with a mandate for “one country, two systems,” which allows Hong Kong wide-ranging freedoms not available on the mainland.



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Hong Kong police say man set alight after arguing with democracy protesters

Hong Kong police say man set alight after arguing with democracy protestersHong Kong police on Monday said a man was set alight following a heated argument with pro-democracy protesters during a day of widespread clashes across the city, as videos of the brutal attack went viral online. Three videos were posted on messaging channels used by protesters showing a man in a green T-shirt arguing with people on a footbridge. “In the most shocking incident, some rioters poured flammable liquid onto a person and set him on fire,” police spokesman John Tse told reporters at a press conference as the social media videos of the attack were played on a screen.



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Police shoot protester, man set on fire in day of Hong Kong fury

Police shoot protester, man set on fire in day of Hong Kong furyA police officer shot a masked protester in an incident shown live on Facebook and a man was set on fire Monday during one of the most violent days of clashes in Hong Kong since pro-democracy unrest erupted more than five months ago. A masked assailant also doused a man with a flammable liquid and set him ablaze during an argument, with the horrifying scene captured on mobile phones and also posted online. “Continuing this rampage is a lose-lose situation for Hong Kong,” police spokesman John Tse said at a press conference in which he showed the video of the man being set alight, as well as a fire inside a train.



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Hong Kong Violence Escalates With Bullets, Tear Gas, Man on Fire

Hong Kong Violence Escalates With Bullets, Tear Gas, Man on Fire(Bloomberg) — Hong Kong saw one of its most violent days since protests began in June, with clashes involving police and protesters leaving downtown paralyzed, transportation networks hobbled and two men clinging to life.The chaos started early on Monday when demonstrators, still angry after the first protest-related death on Friday, moved to disrupt the morning commute. A scuffle ensued outside a subway station in which a police officer shot a protester at point blank, all of which was caught on a video that went viral within moments. He’s currently in intensive care.The shooting spawned calls for a flash mob at noon in Central, where protesters blocked roads in one of Hong Kong’s premier shopping districts. Police fired tear gas to clear them, leading to chaotic scenes of office workers ducking into luxury malls to wash out their eyes with water.Around the same time, video emerged of a man doused with petrol and lit on fire. Hu Xijin, an editor with China’s state-run Global Times newspaper, said the victim had “openly disagreed with radical protesters” at the time of the attack. He’s currently in critical condition, according to hospital authorities, who said almost 50 people were injured.The shocking videos raised fears that things could get even worse, as the pro-democracy protests show no signs of letting up after five months of increasingly violent demonstrations opposing Beijing’s grip over the city. Hong Kong stocks on Monday saw their biggest loss in about three months, banks set people home early and the Hong Kong Jockey Club closed all off-course betting branches, underscoring fears about an economy already in recession.“We’re afraid that the escalation is really on both sides, but more so on the police side,” said Fernando Cheung, a pro-democracy lawmaker who has mediated between police and protesters during the city’s unrest. “It will become more chaotic and more violent — that seems to be inevitable.”Hong Kong’s government urged in a statement Monday afternoon for protesters to remain “calm and rational.” Chief Executive Carrie Lam, whose move to introduce legislation allowing extraditions to the mainland initially sparked the protests, on Monday called it “wishful thinking” that violence would prompt her to make any concessions such as an independent inquiry into police violence or for the ability to pick and choose their own leaders.“I’m making this statement clear and loud here — that will not happen,” she said in an address, flanked by members of her cabinet. “Violence is not going to give us any solution to the problems that Hong Kong is facing. Our joint priority now as a city is to end the violence and to return Hong Kong to normal as soon as possible.”The police defended the officer who fired his weapon, while suspending another who deliberately rode his motorcycle into a group of demonstrators. Police dismissed as “totally false and malicious” online rumors that they had ordered officers to use their firearms “at will.”The reinvigorated violence followed a weekend of demonstrations that resulted in almost 90 arrests. Demonstrators angered over the death Friday of a student who was injured earlier near a recent clash between police and protesters vandalized shops and train stations while throwing Molotov cocktails at a police station, blocking roads, hurling objects at police.“Police reiterate that no violent behavior will be tolerated,” the police said in a statement. “Police will continue to take resolute enforcement action so as to safeguard the city’s public safety and bring all lawbreakers to justice.”The student who died Friday suffered a brain injury after falling from a parking garage near a demonstration where police used tear gas to disperse a crowd. Hong Kong police officials denied reports that officers had chased and pushed the student. A memorial drew tens of thousands of people.Over the weekend, China reiterated that it would ensure only people loyal to it will become Hong Kong’s chief executive. The majority of representatives in Hong Kong’s cabinet, judiciary and legislative bodies should also support the central government, Zhang Xiaoming, China’s top official overseeing Hong Kong affairs, said in a post on the agency’s website.The inability to implement Article 23 — the section of Hong Kong’s Basic Law requiring legislation prohibiting treason and subversion against the Chinese government — and its failure to set up units to follow through were the main reasons separatist movements are on the rise, Zhang said. In 2003, the Hong Kong government halted implementation after protests drew hundreds of thousands of people.Anger over police tactics in the latest protests that have injured demonstrators has been a major focus of recent rallies. Hong Kong’s police watchdog has neither the authority nor the resources to effectively investigate the ongoing protests in the city, according to the Independent Expert Panel brought in to advise it.The panel saw “a shortfall” in the powers of the Independent Police Complaints Council, according to a statement posted on the Twitter account of panel member Clifford Stott, a dean for research at Keele University in England. In July, Chief Executive Carrie Lam tasked the IPCC with conducting a fact-finding study into the unrest after growing public concern about police behavior and tactics.The five experts of the panel were announced in September by the IPCC to advise the council as the rift between the government and protesters widened, with activists including the establishment of an independent inquiry into police conduct as one of their five demands.“There’s a requirement for the IPCC to have increased capacity if it’s going to address the scale of events in question,” Stott said by phone. “We’re calling for that as a matter of urgency.”\–With assistance from Fion Li, Aaron Mc Nicholas and Stephen Tan.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers charged, student mourned

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers charged, student mournedPolice in Hong Kong said Saturday that they have arrested and charged six pro-democracy lawmakers, a move that could escalate public fury a day after the death of a university student linked to months of anti-government protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. The 22-year-old died Friday, succumbing to injuries four days after falling from a parking garage when police fired tear gas during clashes with protesters. Police said they arrested six lawmakers and charged them Saturday with obstructing the local assembly during a raucous May 11 meeting over a now-shelved China extradition bill that sparked the five months of protests calling for democratic reforms.



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Thousands hold vigils as Hong Kong student's death triggers outrage

Thousands hold vigils as Hong Kong student's death triggers outrageThousands of Hong Kongers held vigils Friday night for a student who died from a fall during recent protester clashes with police, triggering fresh outrage from the pro-democracy movement and renewed violence. Although the precise chain of events leading to 22-year-old Alex Chow's fall last weekend is unclear and disputed, his death Friday morning was the first student fatality during five months of demonstrations. Protesters have made alleged police brutality one of their movement's rallying cries and have seized on the death.



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China Says Only Patriots Can Become Hong Kong Chief Executive

China Says Only Patriots Can Become Hong Kong Chief Executive(Bloomberg) — China’s top official overseeing Hong Kong affairs said Beijing will ensure only people loyal to it become the city’s chief executive, damping hopes of pro-democracy activists.The majority of representatives in Hong Kong’s cabinet, judiciary and legislative bodies should also support the central government, Zhang Xiaoming said in a post on the agency’s website. He said the city’s inability to implement Article 23 — a law that prohibits acts of treason and subversion against the Chinese government — and its failure to set up units to follow through were the main reasons separatist movements are on the rise.In 2003, the Hong Kong government halted implementation of the controversial article in its mini constitution, the Basic Law, after rolling protests drew hundreds of thousands of people.Hong Kong has endured about five straight months of violent protests this year that started in opposition to a proposed law which would have allowed extraditions to other jurisdictions, including China. While the bill was withdrawn, the demonstrations have developed into anti-Beijing expressions and demands have broadened to include democratic elections for lawmakers and the chief executive.“This is part of Beijing’s plan to tighten control over Hong Kong and exert further pressure on the pro-democracy camp,” said Joseph Cheng, a professor at the City University of Hong Kong and pro-democracy activist. “The present situation in Hong Kong has turned into a crisis and that’s giving Chinese leaders a reason to press for a hard line.”Read more: Hong Kong Officer Fires Warning Shot After Death Fuels ProtestsZhang’s words are likely to further anger activists who are calling for an escalation of demonstrations as they mark the death this week of a student who fell off a building near a demonstration where police carried out a dispersal operation. The city is due to hold elections next September for members of its lawmaking body, the Legislative Council, which are expected to be fiercely contested, given the ongoing unrest.\–With assistance from Natalie Lung.To contact the reporters on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.net;Josie Wong in Hong Kong at jwong836@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Stanley JamesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Hong Kong Student’s Death Fuels Anger Ahead of Weekend Protests

Hong Kong Student’s Death Fuels Anger Ahead of Weekend Protests(Bloomberg) — A Hong Kong student who fell in a parking garage near a protest earlier this week has died, a development that could potentially inflame protests planned for this weekend.Chow Tsz-lok suffered a brain injury after falling early Monday as police carried out a dispersal operation nearby using tear gas. A spokesman for the Hospital Authority confirmed Friday that he was certified dead at 8:09 a.m.While some demonstrators have committed suicide during the prolonged period of protests, nobody has been confirmed dead as a direct result of a clash between police and demonstrators. Anger over police tactics — and injured protesters — has been a major focus of recent rallies.“Considering it’s the first death that’s happened at a police-people confrontation scene, it will certainly add fuel to the already strong fire of anger — particularly when people generally have absolutely no trust in the system, and the police,” said Alvin Yeung, a pro-democracy lawmaker.Protesters held a memorial for Chow before a lunchtime rally in the city center Friday, and calls for “flash mob”-style demonstrations marking his death were trending on online protester forums.“We are very sad about the incident, we do not know what’s the next step,” said a 31-year-old bank employee who asked to be identified by the surname Tam as she protested in centrally located Chater Garden. She said the midday rally was about showing that Hong Kong people “have not let go” of grievances that have fueled months of protest. Chow, 22, was a second year computer science undergraduate at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper, which reported the death earlier Friday. University President Wei Shyy briefly paused the school’s graduation ceremony to announce Chow’s death and observe a moment of silence.The death comes after five months of historic unrest in the region’s main financial hub. Sparked by a since-withdrawn bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, the protest movement expanded to include calls for greater democracy, morphing into the biggest challenge to Beijing’s rule over the former colony since its return to China in 1997.Hong Kong’s government said it was “deeply saddened” and offered condolences to Chow’s family in a statement responding to media inquiries about his death.‘Freedom Fighter’Prominent activist Joshua Wong mourned Chow’s death and called him a “freedom fighter.”“Today we mourn the loss of the freedom fighter in HK. We will not leave anyone behind – what we start together, we finish together. Given the losses suffered by HK society in the past month, the gov must pay the price,” he tweeted.Chow fell from the third floor to the second floor of a parking garage in the Tseung Kwan O neighborhood while police worked nearby to disperse protesters. Hong Kong is bracing for a weekend of rallies that have been planned in areas across the city, beginning Friday.The death comes amid a week of violence that saw an outspoken politician stabbed while campaigning, raising concerns about whether the city will be able to hold upcoming district council elections. The lawmaker, Junius Ho — known for his inflammatory comments against protesters and pro-democracy politicians — suffered only minor injuries.On Thursday, the government’s Electoral Affairs Commission issued an appeal for the “public to keep calm and return to rationality” ahead of the vote, currently scheduled for Nov. 24. “The community is also urged to stop all threats and violence to support the holding of election in a peaceful and orderly manner,” it said.(Updates with protester comment in sixth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Josie Wong in Hong Kong at jwong836@bloomberg.net;Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, ;Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Hong Kong court convicts teen for carrying laser pointer

Hong Kong court convicts teen for carrying laser pointerA Hong Kong court ruling Thursday that a laser pointer carried by a teenager was an offensive weapon marked a tougher stance by the judiciary after months of anti-government protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, with a lawmaker warning it could lead to more prosecutions of demonstrators. Local broadcaster RTHK said a court found a 16-year-old male student guilty of possessing the laser pointer and a modified umbrella — deemed to be offensive weapons. The items were found in his bag, along with a helmet and other protective gear used by protesters, when he was detained Sept. 21 near the site of a planned rally for democracy reforms.



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Pro-Democracy Politician Attacked in Hong Kong as Protests Escalate

Pro-Democracy Politician Attacked in Hong Kong as Protests EscalateA pro-democracy Hong Kong politician was violently attacked and left in critical condition as protests against Chinese authoritarianism turned violent again over the weekend.An unidentified man, who reportedly earlier also stabbed several people outside a mall, attacked District councilor Andrew Chiu and bit off part of his left ear. Protesters beat the 48-year-old suspect with sticks after the attack.One person is in critical condition and two others are in serious condition among the at least 30 casualties suffered on Sunday. A male student suffered life-threatening injuries after he fell from a height. Twelve police officers were also injured during the escalation of violence over the weekend, and more than 300 people were arrested.Hong Kong has been roiled by protests throughout the summer, originally sparked by outrage over an extradition law that Hong Kong residents say would allow Chinese authorities to effectively “kidnap” them despite little evidence of wrongdoing. Opposition to the law soon ballooned into fear that China plans to throw out its “One Country, Two Systems” policy regarding Hong Kong.“We really see that people are very heavy-hearted. They don’t know what is going to happen tonight or maybe the next weekend. And there is a lot of worry,” said pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmaker Charles Mok.Last month, Hong Kong’s government formally pulled the extradition bill that ignited five months of violent pro-democracy protests. However, the protesters have since made several other broader demands including enhanced democracy for Hong Kong, an independent investigation into police conduct, and amnesty for protesters who have been arrested.Protesters have been particularly riled by the tactics of police in Hong Kong, objecting to what they say is law enforcement's overbearing approach to halting pro-democracy demonstrators. Police have arrested several prominent demonstrators in recent months, while China meanwhile has vowed a “severe” response to the protest activities and has accused demonstrators of terrorism.



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