After a day of violent protests, Hong Kong makes arrests

Thursday, 04 Jul, 2019

The brief statement did not describe the offensive weapons or provide further details.

Anti-government protesters break into the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1, 2019, on the 22nd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China.

The combative group tried to shield themselves with umbrellas, a tactic used in the past to ward off pepper spray.

But news and photos of the drill were only published on the PLA Daily on Tuesday, after protesters had ransacked the Legislative Council.

The building was left with extensive damage, including spray-painted slogans on the walls, turned over file cabinets in offices and strewed documents on floors.

On Wednesday, workers boarded up shattered windows and police carted away evidence during the start of what will be a massive cleanup and criminal investigation.

Some placards placed by protesters in the legislature's main chamber had been removed, an AFP journalist saw during a guided tour of the building organised by the authorities.

The Communist Party mouthpiece said Hong Kong has a diversified society and it was not surprising to see disagreement and even major disputes on certain issues.

During a brief visit to Mongolia on Monday, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Washington expects "China like every other country to adhere to its worldwide obligations" regarding Hong Kong.

However, the Hong Kong Garrison of the PLA held an "emergency response drill" in waters near Hong Kong on June 26, a joint patrol exercise by members of the army, navy and air force which aimed to review and raise combat abilities for emergencies, ad-hoc deployment and joint operations. Parts of wooden picture frames were all that remained of portraits of legislative leaders that hung on the wall.

Speaking to the media, she said "This is something that we should seriously condemn because nothing is more important than the rule of law in Hong Kong".

"HK Is Not China" was painted in black on a white pillar.

Chris Patten, who served as Hong Kong's final governor while it was a British colony, says the United Kingdom must take a "much firmer line" against China amid fears it is increasing its influence in Hong Kong.

The actions overshadowed a peaceful march by hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters elsewhere in the city.

Confrontations and outbreaks of lawlessness in Hong Kong could damage the city's reputation as an global business hub and seriously hurt its economy, it warned. "I employ four to five people in Hong Kong so yes, I would consider moving".

Police also announced two other sets of arrests Wednesday. Investigators also detected an attempt to hack the police website but he said it failed.

Campaigners against plans by chief executive Carrie Lam to change the city's extradition law to allow the rendition of alleged criminal suspects to face charges in mainland China have focused their protests on the police following their use of tear gas, rubber and textile bullets, batons and pepper spray on unarmed protesters on June 12.

The area around Golden Bauhinia Square, where the flag-raising ceremony took place, was blocked off from Saturday to prevent protesters from gathering to disrupt it. "They were very emotional - it felt really risky", said an anti-extradition protester who gave his name as Jim. Marchers were energized by an ongoing controversy over now-suspended legislation that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland Chinese courts.

Combative protesters and a larger group are still marching through Hong Kong's streets airing their anger at the city's leader, Carrie Lam, and her leaders in Beijing.

"Under the changes of a global economy and intensifying worldwide competition, Hong Kong is already under great challenge and can not bear turbulence and internal friction".

"If this Bill is not completely scrapped, I will have no choice but to leave my home, Hong Kong", said Steve, a British lawyer who has worked in Hong Kong for 30 years.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Hunt appeared to be "basking in the faded glory of British colonialism and obsessed with lecturing others".

"They forget. that Hong Kong has now returned to the embrace of the Motherland", China's ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, said.