Washington rebuked for meddling in HK protests

2019-07-31 08:50:33中国日报 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Foreign Ministry criticized the United States on Tuesday for meddling in Hong Kong's recent protests against the now-suspended extradition amendment bill.

Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the ministry, made the remark after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier at the Economic Club in Washington that the Hong Kong protests are "appropriate" and protests are "common" in the US. Pompeo added that he hoped China will "do the right thing" and respect agreements that are in place with respect to Hong Kong.

In a daily news conference in Beijing, Hua said protests in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have recently included people attacking police with metal poles and other potentially deadly weapons.

Maybe the US could "import" such violent protests and show the world how their democracy would handle them, Hua said.

Since February, many US politicians have openly commented on Hong Kong affairs, and have met with the city's opposition politicians multiple times, Hua said. These include US Vice-President Mike Pence, Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Hua added that media footage showed some "American faces" and the US national flag in Hong Kong's recent protests. She questioned whether the US is playing a role in the ongoing weekslong chaos in the city and urged them to clarify that for the world.

The US must stop "playing with fire", which will only get itself burned, Hua said.

Meanwhile, the US must clearly understand that the HKSAR is part of China, and it has been reiterated many times that the Chinese government will not allow foreign interference in Hong Kong's internal affairs or foreign forces to bring chaos to the city, she said.

Hua's remarks came as trade talks begin between the two nations on Tuesday and Wednesday in Shanghai.

In Hong Kong, the chaos continues. Commuters expressed anger and frustration over a four-hour subway service suspension on Tuesday morning.

This past weekend, radical protesters clashed with riot police in Yuen Long and parts of Hong Kong Island, venting anger over the now-suspended extradition bill.

They blocked train doors and activated emergency brakes and safety devices to prevent trains from leaving stations on four busy subway routes-the Kwun Tong, Island, Tseung Kwan O and Tsuen Wan lines.

The Hong Kong police announced on Tuesday night that they were pressing charges against 45 people arrested during the anti-government demonstration on Sunday.

Forty-four will be charged with rioting. Among them, a 33-year-old man was also charged with assaulting a police officer. A 24-year-old man was charged with possession of offensive weapons. All are scheduled to appear in the Eastern Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

On Sunday night, police arrested 49 people. As of press time, two men had been released on bail pending further investigation, and the other two were temporarily released.

The subway disruption "was annoying", said Janice Huang, who lives in Tseung Kwan O but works in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island. It took her nearly two-and-a-half hours to reach her workplace. Her commute usually takes around 40 minutes. "Disrupting public transportation sometimes leads to bad results. What if someone has important work to do?" she said.

According to subway system operator MTR Corp, a train was forced to remain at a platform in Tiu Keng Leng station for over an hour, because emergency brakes installed on the trains and platforms of the affected metro lines were activated 123 times from around 7:30 am to around 11:20 am.

People should adopt rational and peaceful ways to express their views, rather than resorting to means that cause a public nuisance, Hong Kong's Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said on Tuesday.

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