Hong Kong police on Wednesday arrested greater than 300 individuals amid renewed avenue protests forward of China’s imposition of draconian sedition legal guidelines on the town, bypassing its Legislative Council (LegCo).
Protesters constructed barricades throughout main streets in Kowloon’s Mong Kok district with roadsigns, planking, and site visitors boundaries, setting fires and putting different obstacles on the roads to hinder the advance of riot police.
Crowds gathered close to authorities headquarters in Admiralty, in the Central enterprise district, and the Causeway Bay purchasing district on Hong Kong Island, chanting slogans that included “Free Hong Kong, Revolution now!”
Some protesters additionally shouted a comparatively new slogan: “Independence for Hong Kong! The only solution!”
Some of the arrestees have been discovered in possession of Molotov cocktails and nails, in line with police, however a few of these boarding a police bus underneath obvious arrest have been schoolchildren in uniform, nonetheless carrying their backpacks, in line with images posted to social media.
“Police had arrested over 300 people for offenses including possession of offensive weapons [and] … participating in an unlawful assembly,” the police stated in a press release.
Meanwhile, the town’s secretary for safety John Lee repeated the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s characterization of the protesters as “terrorists.”
“The Hong Kong government will use the strictest law possible to crack down on terrorism,” Lee advised journalists.
He stated no person could be exempt from the crackdown, not even youngsters.
“In cases where there is sufficient evidence, the police and the justice department will look into bringing charges against suspects under U.N. anti-terrorism measures, as well as freezing the personal assets of suspects, even children in school uniform,” Lee stated.
Plan to maneuver forward
The ruling Chinese Communist Party on Monday stated it can carry by means of its plan to impose a draconian sedition and subversion legislation on Hong Kong, claiming it’s a part of a crackdown on “terrorism” in the town.
China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) — which often passes any authorities proposal put earlier than it — will “vote” on the plan on Thursday.
Beijing insists that the minority of protesters who’ve resisted widespread violence from riot police with barricades, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and different makeshift weapons are “terrorists.”
ofofBeijing revealed plans on May 21 to ship its feared state safety brokers into Hong Kong to pursue individuals suspected of “sedition” or “subversion,” or of doing the work of ‘overseas forces’ throughout the metropolis’s months-long protest motion.
In a transfer that many say alerts the tip of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy and conventional freedoms of speech and affiliation, state safety police from mainland China will likely be allowed to arrange store in Hong Kong to meet their duties underneath the brand new legislation, in line with a summary of the choice provided by state-run Xinhua information company.
The plan has been extensively condemned by overseas governments and rights teams as a breach of China’s obligations underneath the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-registered treaty governing the handover.
Rights teams stated the legislation will imply Beijing can make sure that solely voices and actions that toe the occasion line will likely be allowed in Hong Kong, which was promised a continuation of its conventional freedoms of the individual, publication, and affiliation underneath the handover settlement.
U.S. critiques relations
The proposed authorized transfer comes at a time when the U.S. is reviewing, underneath the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, whether or not to proceed to deal with Hong Kong as a separate jurisdiction from China, given Beijing’s rising insistence on wielding direct political energy in the town.
Beijing has stated the 1984 Sino-British Declaration promising the continuation of Hong Kong’s freedoms and a excessive diploma of autonomy is not more than a “historical document,” and has repeatedly warned different nations to not intervene in its inside affairs.
Former British colonial governor Chris Patten this week known as on G7 nations to face up for Hong Kong’s freedoms, warning that President Xi Jinping is launching an all-out assault on liberal values there.
Reported by Lu Xi, Tseng Yat-yiu and Man Hoi-tsan for RFA’s Mandarin and Cantonese Services. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.