China Threatens to Intervene if Hong Kong Unrest Continues
Hong Kong protests continue for 10 week
In Hong Kong, after ten weeks of protests, the standoff intensifies between protesters and Hong Kong authorities. Meanwhile, China threatened to intervene if the unrest continues and warned foreign countries not to interfere in what is the biggest political turmoil the city is going through since 1997.
After ten weeks of protest broke in Hong Kong, scenes of lines of riot police marching through the streets has become a usual scene, but that does not faze one of the many groups of volunteer medics who are always on-the-go for medical care.
The first aid responders know what to prepare for as the tension rises each weekend.
Despite the tiredness, they group up and roam the city alongside the protesters to each ‘hit and run’ protest sites.
Even though the casualties he has seen from the scuffles prompted him to do this volunteer work, but he does not consider himself as part of the rally.
“I stay neutral, I didn’t shout anything at the police, I didn’t say any slogans. I didn’t do anything to destroy the city. I wouldn’t consider myself as a protester,” Hong Kong protester said.
Another weekend had passed, but more protests have already been scheduled for this weekend, braving the risk of being arrested by law enforcement.
Hong Kong police said that that hundreds of people have been arrested since the beginning of the large scale anti-extradition bill protest.
“In a word, until yesterday the police have arrested 748 people and 115 people have been prosecuted since June 9,” acting district commander of airport district Lau Wing Kei said.
Authorities also added that 15 police officers had sustained varying degrees of eye injuries due to protesters’ use of handheld laser lights.
The police spokesperson stressed that officers in the field would ensure using the minimum level of force possible when dealing with the protests.
“And based on actual situations, including the threat encountered by our officers when they are being attacked, they will ensure their use of force is as minimum as possible and stop once their aim of using that force can be achieved. Sometimes, we cannot only rely on a snapshot that, it looks like excessive forces are being used but as a whole, we are confident that we exercise our force in a very restrained manner,” chief superintendent of Hong Kong police’s PR branch Tse Chun Chung said.
Despite this statement, police tactics are toughening after 10 weeks of increasingly violent confrontations between police and protesters plunged Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
Meanwhile, across the Hong Kong border, hundreds of members of China’s People’s Armed Police could be seen conducting exercises earlier today, in what an editor of a hardliner Chinese state-run publication has said is a “clear warning” to protesters.
Troops marched in and out of the Shenzen stadium, some in fatigues, some in black T-shirts and camouflage trousers.
Dozens of armored paramilitary vehicles could also be seen parked there.
On its side, China accused unidentified foreign forces of fomenting violent protests in Hong Kong, warning them that their “conniving” efforts had been noticed and that they would end up damaging themselves.
The ambassador also said China will use its power to quell Hong Kong protests if the situation deteriorates further.
“We’ve never allowed anyone to undermine one country, two systems, at any excuse. Should the situation near Hong Kong deteriorate further into unrest, uncontrollable for the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the central government would not sit on its hands and watch. We have enough solutions and enough power within the limits of basic law to quell any unrest swiftly,” he said.
Yesterday, the U.S. State Department said it was deeply concerned about reports of Chinese police forces massing in Shenzen, and urged the city’s government to respect freedom of speech of the protesters.