China’s Communist Party has warned of “unimaginable consequences” if demonstrations by pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong continue.
The threat, made in the party-run People’s Daily, came as China’s government appeared to be losing patience with the protesters, who have threatened to occupy government buildings unless the city’s chief executive, Leung Chun-Ying, resigns by the end of today.
An editorial read on state TV called for people to support the government’s efforts to “deploy police enforcement decisively” and “restore the social order in Hong Kong as soon as possible”.
Amid the heightened tensions, Lord Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, accused Beijing of breaching its commitments to Hongkongers, made before the territory was returned to China in 1997.
Lord Patten said Beijing was undermining the so-called “one country, two systems” agreement, which affords the people of Hong Kong a degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed by those in mainland China. “[The Chinese] said these matters were within the autonomy of the Hong Kong government and they are now reneging on that,” he said, adding that there must now be “a new period of genuine consultation” over democratic reform.
Officials in Hong Kong tried to celebrate the 65th birthday of the People’s Republic of China. The first day of October, or National Day, marks the Communist Party’s creation of China in its current form and means a two-day holiday for Hongkongers, and usually an influx of mainland tourists to its shopping precincts.
Mr Leung said at a flag-raising ceremony: “We hope that all sectors of the community will work with the government in a peaceful, lawful, rational and pragmatic manner… and make a big step forward in our constitutional development.”
But the ceremony, at Bauhinia Square on Hong Kong Island’s waterfront and only a short walk from the protest’s epicentre, attracted demonstrators who booed Mr Leung, before turning their backs for his address.
One protest leader, Lester Shum, of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said there was “no room for dialogue” with Mr Leung because he had ordered police to fire tear gas at demonstrators. “Leung Chun-ying must step down. If he doesn’t resign by tomorrow, we will step up our actions, such as by occupying several important government buildings,” he said.
Local councillor Paul Zimmerman waved an umbrella, a symbol of the city’s democracy movement. He said he did so “because it stands against the shooting of tear gas at the children of Hong Kong”.
Oscar Lai, a spokesman for the student group Scholarism, said: “We are not celebrating the 65th anniversary of China. With the present political turmoil in Hong Kong and the continued persecution of human rights activists in China, I think today is not a day for celebrations, but rather a day of sadness.”
Official worries about the disruption even affected celebrations in Beijing – in fairly comical style. There, the 10,000 doves to be released at sunrise in Tiananmen Square had their feathers and anuses checked for dangerous materials, according to state-run media.Source: The Independent – Hong Kong protests: China warns of ‘unimaginable consequences’ if demonstrations continue
- An open letter to the Chinese Communist Party regarding the Hong Kong protests (chinadailymail.com)
- Protests in Hong Kong caused by China failing to honour its promises (chinadailymail.com)
- Hong Kong college students take the lead in fighting for true democracy (chinadailymail.com)
- A showdown is looming in Hong Kong, with China threatening to send in its army (chinadailymail.com)
- The battle against China for Hong Kong’s soul (chinadailymail.com)
- Hong Kong: China warns of ‘unimaginable consequences’ if pro-democracy campaign demonstrations continue (thetruthseeker.co.uk)
- Comm. Party of China Warns Hong Kong of “Unimaginable Consequences” – I Imagine Tiananmen Square (therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com)
- Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying refuses to quit, students agree to talks (firstpost.com)
- Hong Kong: Lord Patten tells Beijing they are reneging on two-system deal (independent.co.uk)
- Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying refuses to step down – video (theguardian.com)