Violence brings Hong Kong to ‘brink of complete breakdown’: police

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HONG KONG (Information) – Hong Kong police fired tear fuel on Tuesday within the Central monetary district, over the harbour in Mong Kok and at universities to interrupt up pro-democracy protests which they mentioned had been main town to the “brink of complete breakdown”.

The clashes got here a day after police shot a protester at shut vary and a person was doused with petrol and set on fireplace in a number of the worst violence within the Chinese language-ruled metropolis in a long time.

A flash mob of greater than 1,000 protesters, many carrying workplace garments and face masks, rallied in Central for a second day throughout lunch hour, blocking roads beneath a number of the metropolis’s tallest skyscrapers and costliest actual property.

After they’d dispersed, police fired tear fuel on the remaining protesters on outdated, slim Pedder Road. Police made greater than a dozen arrests, many pinned up on the pavement towards the wall of luxurious jeweller Tiffany & Co.

“Our society has been pushed to the brink of a complete breakdown,” a police spokesman instructed a briefing, referring to the final two days of violence within the former British colony.

He mentioned masked “rioters” had dedicated “insane” acts, reminiscent of throwing trash, bicycles and different particles onto metro tracks and overhead energy traces, paralysing the transport system.

He mentioned the person set on fireplace on Monday was nonetheless in crucial situation and appealed for info on who was accountable.

Police additionally fired tear fuel at Metropolis College in Kowloon Tong, beneath the Lion Rock, and at Chinese language College on the opposite facet of the mountain, the place protesters threw petrol bombs and bricks at police.

Protesters at Metropolis College had stockpiled bricks and petrol bombs on the bridges and different approaches and had been making small units with nails. They’d overrun the campus and had been smashing up the next-door Pageant Stroll shopping center and setting fires.

Streets inside and outdoors the Chinese language College campus entrance had been plagued by bricks, different particles and small avenue fires as police tackled some protesters to the bottom.

A van used as a part of a avenue barricade was set ablaze.

“IT’S OUR SCHOOL”

The scholars had been participating in a heated late-night alternate with the principal when clashes reignited, with police once more firing volleys of tear fuel and protesters throwing petrol bombs, lighting up the sky.

“It’s loopy that police have been firing tear fuel for greater than 20 minutes. In the event that they didn’t are available, we wouldn’t conflict with them. It’s our college. We have to defend our residence,” Sweet, 20, a pupil, instructed Information earlier.

A protester holds a Molotov cocktail as college college students standoff with riot police on the Chinese language College of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China November 12, 2019. Information/Tyrone Siu

A number of individuals had been wounded, together with a pupil reporter hit within the eye, apparently by a brick, who was sitting in tears as pals supplied consolation.

Police additionally fired tear fuel within the close by new city of Tai Po and within the densely populated Kowloon district of Mong Kok, whose buying artery Nathan Highway has been the scene of many clashes.

Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam mentioned protesters had been being extraordinarily egocentric and hoped that universities and colleges would urge college students not to participate within the demonstrations.

Greater than 260 individuals had been arrested on Monday, police mentioned, bringing the full quantity to greater than three,000 because the protests escalated in June. Colleges and universities mentioned they’d shut once more on Tuesday.

Protesters are indignant about what they see as police brutality and meddling by Beijing within the freedoms assured underneath the “one nation, two techniques” formulation put in place when the territory returned to China from British rule in 1997.

China denies interfering and has blamed Western international locations together with Britain and the US for stirring up hassle.

The USA on Monday condemned “unjustified use of lethal drive” in Hong Kong and urged police and civilians alike to de-escalate the state of affairs.

Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged Britain and the US to not intrude, saying: “Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s inner affairs that enable no international interference. We urge the US, United Kingdom and different international locations to earnestly respect China’s sovereignty.”

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China has a garrison of as much as 12,000 troops in Hong Kong who’ve saved to barracks since 1997 but it surely has vowed to crush any makes an attempt at independence, a requirement for a really small minority of protesters.

Geng additionally instructed a briefing in Beijing that China’s authorities firmly helps Lam’s administration and the Hong Kong police “in legislation enforcement, sustaining social order and defending the protection of residents”.

Following Tuesday’s violence, the Hong Kong Jockey Membership mentioned all off-course betting centres can be closed forward of Wednesday’s racing at Comfortable Valley, “to make sure the protection of our workers and prospects”.

The “Mark Six” lottery draw, initially scheduled for Tuesday evening, was postponed till Thursday.

Reporting by Donny Kwok, Clare Jim, Marius Zaharia, Twinnie Siu, Clare Jim, Josh Smith, Kate Lamb, Jessie Pang and Farah Grasp in Hong Kong and Cate Cadell in Beijing; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree and Nick Macfie; Modifying by Simon Cameron-Moore, Gerry Doyle and Catherine Evans