Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his full support to Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her administration when the two met in Shanghai on Monday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Xi stated that his Beijing government “fully recognizes” and “highly trusts” the work of Lam and her administration as the city faces ongoing protests. He said Hong Kong, under Lam’s leadership, has done a lot of hard work to control the situation and improve sentiment in society.
The Chinese president also said that Hong Kong should keep as its top priority stopping the violence and chaos and restoring order. He said he also hopes that citizens from “all walks of life” will fully implement policies under the so-called “one country, two systems” principle, which allows for the former British colony to enjoy greater autonomy than the mainland.
Xi’s statements came after a weekend during which scores of people were injured in anti-government protests in Hong Kong, including one that left a man in critical condition after he fell from a height, authorities said. Twelve officers were also injured.
Police arrested more than 300 people between the ages of 14 and 54.
The incidents kicked off a 22nd week of widespread protests which has seen hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets since mid-June. On Monday, Chinese state media called for a tougher line against protesters after some vandalized Xinhua’s offices in Hong Kong.
More than 100 demonstrators, some wearing now-banned face masks, returned on Monday evening to a shopping center, where a pro-Beijing man had knifed several people and bit off a part of a politician’s ear.
The demonstrations started as a protest over a now scrapped extradition bill proposed by the Beijing government, which drew international condemnation. The protests have now morphed into a pro democracy campaign against what demonstrators see as Chinese meddling with freedoms promised when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
dv/aw (dpa, Reuters)
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