Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam promised on Tuesday that the government will take maximum efforts to build the dialogue platform with the public.
At a press conference, Lam said she and other officials will forge ahead with the dialogue despite concerns that escalated violence has shaken its foundation, stressing its significance in resolving social disputes.
The chief executive discussed how to build the platform with representatives from all walks of life during a three-hour meeting on Saturday. At Monday's press conference, she expressed gratitude to more than 10 representatives of protesters, who, although under pressure, still attended the meeting on Saturday.
Lam said she and two senior officials also participated in a civil dialogue platform on Monday and listened to opinions of young people.
Responding to aggravated violence during the weekend, including assaulting police officers with petrol bombs and rampantly vandalizing stores, Lam reiterated zero-tolerance and said the police will make thorough investigation into all unlawful acts, adding that the violent protesters had completely disregarded laws and created panic among Hong Kong residents.
The authorities will treat all people involved in illegal and violent acts equally without discrimination, no matter what political views or backgrounds they have, Lam said.
She said the government will review existing laws and end violence with the rule of law, and called on all residents to support the police in cracking down on violence.
In regard to protesters destroying smart lamp posts, Lam said she and all people that support Hong Kong's innovation and technology felt heartbroken, as the efforts to foster a better environment for innovation and create diverse job opportunities for young people were ruined by violent protesters.
"I would like to emphasize again that violence cannot solve problems, and should not be rationalized or glorified," Lam said. (Updated)