A pro-Beijing lawmaker in Hong Kong was stabbed on Wednesday while campaigning for local elections later this month.
“This morning is a dark day in Hong Kong’s district council elections,” pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho said, according to the South China Morning Post. “A candidate was intentionally assaulted by an attacker. There is no order left.”
Video footage shows the assailant approaching Ho and asking to take a photo with the lawmaker. Instead of taking out a camera, he brandished a knife and stabbed Ho in the chest. The lawmaker and several others around him quickly overpowered the assailant.
Ho told reporters that he received a minor wound roughly 2 centimeters (0.79 inches) deep. The knife was blocked by his rib cage, sparing Ho of a life-threatening injury.
Hong Kong authorities condemned the attack and warned against the use of violence as a means of political expression.
“The government will definitely not tolerate any violent acts,” said a Hong Kong government spokesperson. “Police will continue to enforce laws strictly as to safeguard peace in society.”
Tensions are high in the semi-autonomous city after months of violent anti-government protests.
Ho is particularly disliked by the protest movement after he was seen shaking hands with men who attacked protesters at a subway station on July 21. At least 45 protesters were injured during the attack.
The incident comes days after a knife-wielding assailant attempted to stab a pro-democracy politician and instead bit the man’s ear.
China announced on Wednesday that it supports stronger measures to curb what it described as the roots of political unrest in Hong Kong.
“We firmly support the Special Administrative Region government to adopt more proactive and more effective measures to solve the social problems,” said Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng.
He warned that the anti-government protests were damaging the “one country, two systems” policy, which formed part of the British handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997.
ls/aw (AP, Reuters)
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