Cheung Kin-chung, chief secretary for administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, has called on Hong Kong residents to express their appeals in a "peaceful and rational" way.
The official made the remarks on Friday at a press conference in response to a rally planned for this coming Saturday in the Yuen Long district of New Territories.
An appeal board was meeting on the decision of the police to withhold the permit for the July 27 march in Yuen Long, making Saturday's rally unlawful if the police's decision is upheld, said Cheung.
"If there are people who come out to the march on Saturday, to put it in basic terms, they will be breaking the law," said New Territories North Acting Regional Commander Tsang Ching-Fo. "When it comes to the methods of law enforcement (we may use), we will have to consider the actual situation. But I can tell you very clearly that after we issue this notice of objection, if people come out to march, it is illegal."
Marches, rallies and other political events in Hong Kong generally need to receive a letter of 'no objection' from police before being allowed to proceed.
Hong Kong's chief secretary for administration explained that safety concerns were the main considerations behind the police's decision.
"The police have already explained clearly yesterday the reasons why they object to the application, primarily on safety grounds and also in light of the local circumstances," said Cheung. "It's always in the public interest, in the overall safety of Hong Kong residents, particularly people living in Yuen Long."
The Yuen Long district council and local residents have expressed great concerns and worries over the violent clashes that might occur at the upcoming rally Saturday.
Organizers of the march planned to demonstrate in the same place where clashes took place at the Yuen Long MTR station last Sunday night. The police force will spare no effort to investigate, follow up on, and deal with the attackers in accordance with the law, Cheung stressed.
Violence is not a solution to solving any problem, he said, calling on residents to return to rationality and say 'no' to violence. He also urged Saturday's rally participants to respect the normal life of Yuen Long residents as many children and elderly live in the area.
The HKSAR government will enforce the law and let the region return to peace and stability, he reiterated.
The Chinese government supports the HKSAR government to safeguard stability in the Hong Kong society in accordance with the law, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying during a press briefing Friday afternoon.
"(The situation in Hong Kong) has nothing to do with freedom of speech or assembly. It is an issue of extreme illegal violence that has threatened the principle of 'One Country, Two Systems,'" she said, stressing "Hong Kong belongs to China, and China does not allow any foreign forces to mess up Hong Kong".