Don't underestimateChina, official warns

Local | Amy Nip 19 Nov 2019

No one should underestimate China's will to safeguard its sovereignty and Hong Kong's stability, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said yesterday.

The biggest demand of 1.4 billion Chinese, including Hongkongers, is to stop violence and restore order, he said at a daily news briefing in Beijing.

Geng was responding to a question about the outbreak of conflicts between Chinese students in South Korea and Korean students over Hong Kong's protests.

China's embassy in Seoul had issued a statement earlier, saying it found it regrettable that the Hong Kong issue had caused confrontation in universities.

Geng said overseas Chinese and Chinese studying abroad have shown their determination to maintain the territorial integrity of China.

What is happening in Hong Kong is not a peaceful protest, but violence committed by extremely violent criminals against other citizens, he added, saying they are disrupting the normal functioning of Hong Kong society and endangering public safety.

His comment came as Jim McGovern, chairman of the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said the Chinese and Hong Kong governments must immediately de-escalate the situation at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

"More violence and bloodshed will only make things worse. The world is watching," McGovern wrote on his Twitter account.

A senior US official in Donald Trump's administration condemned the "unjustified use of force" in Hong Kong and called on Beijing to protect Hong Kong's freedom.

"As the president has said, the United States expects Beijing to honor its commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and to protect Hong Kong's freedom, legal system and democratic way of life," the official said.

Former British foreign minister Malcolm Rifkind appealed to Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to intervene by ordering police to show more restraint and prevent the use of live ammunition against the protesters.

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