Second death in week as Xi Jinping demands end to Hong Kong violence
Victim said to have been hit by brick as protesters and pro-Beijing residents clashed
Thu 14 Nov 2019 18.57 GMT
Last modified on Fri 15 Nov 2019 17.15 GMT
A second man has died in the space of a week from injuries sustained in a protest-related clash in Hong Kong. The death came after China’s president, Xi Jinping, issued his harshest warning yet to the city, saying it urgently needed to “end violence and restore order”.
A 70-year-old cleaner who is thought to have been hit by a brick during a clash between protesters and pro-Beijing residents died late on Thursday, hospital officials said.
His death came less than a week after a student protester who had fallen from a building died from his injuries. Since then, the level of violence at the proteststhat began five months ago has reached new heights.
On Monday police shot a 21-year-old student in the stomach at close range and a 57-year old man was set on fire while arguing with demonstrators. A 15-year-old boy is in a critical condition in hospital after he was hit on the head with a teargas canister on Wednesday.
Xi, speaking at a summit in Brazil on Thursday, said “persistent radical and violent crimes” had “seriously trampled on the rule of law and social order” of Hong Kong, the state news agency Xinhua reported.
The president pledged Beijing’s support for Hong Kong’s police, its judiciary in punishing “violent criminals”, and its chief executive, Carrie Lam. “Stopping the violence and restoring order is Hong Kong’s most urgent task at present,” he said.
As he delivered his remarks, demonstrators in Hong Kong were burning a Chinese flag, blocking roads and throwing petrol bombs at riot police, who responded with teargas, on a fourth consecutive weekday of unrest.
Student protesters barricaded themselves inside universities, in some cases building makeshift walls across roads and stockpiling bows and arrows, molotov cocktails, catapults and other homemade weapons.
Students from Europe, mainland China and Taiwan were leaving the city as several universities cancelled classes for the rest of the semester. The education bureau has suspended all classes in primary and secondary schools from Friday to Sunday.
Police described the Chinese University of Hong Kong as a “weapons factory and an arsenal”. Ch Supt Tse Chun-chung told a briefing that the campus protests were “another step closer to terrorism”.
Hong Kong protests: China condemns 'appalling' attack on official in UK15 November 2019
China has condemned what it called an "appalling attack" by protesters on Hong Kong's justice secretary in London on Thursday evening.
Teresa Cheng fell and was treated for an arm injury in hospital after being jostled by about 30 supporters of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.
Chinese official Geng Shuang said some in the UK "supported violent acts... to create chaos" in its former colony.
What happened to Teresa Cheng?
The justice secretary had been in Camden, north London, to promote Hong Kong as a dispute resolution and deal-making hub.
Video showed her walking towards a lecture at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) when she was surrounded by a group of protesters.
Some held signs and shouted "murderer" and in the melee, Ms Cheng fell to the ground.
London's Metropolitan Police said they were investigating an allegation of assault and no arrests had yet been made.
"A woman was taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service suffering an injury to her arm," a statement said.
In a statement, CIArb said Ms Cheng had been "assaulted by a crowd".
Tom Tugendhat, chair of parliament's foreign affairs committee, condemned the behaviour of the protesters.
Ministers "visiting the UK should be able to go about their business free from abuse and assault. This is not right", he tweeted.
Hong Kong Protests Enter New, More Violent PhaseBy William GalloNovember 15, 2019 12:27 PM
HONG KONG - Hong Kong’s protests may be smaller these days, buy they're more frequent, more violent, and more unpredictable. The new phase was precipitated by the death of a young demonstrator as the semi-autonomous Chinese territory entered its 22 week of pro-democracy protests.
But five months in, Hong Kong’s leaders still refuse to give in to the protesters' political demands.
"I'm making the statement clear and loud here, that will not happen," Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a news conference.
Police these days crack down faster and firmer than ever. Following the first death of a student protester last week, this week has seen an increase in hardcore protesters destroying public infrastructure.
In some neighborhoods, the fight between police and protesters now resembles a battle for territory. The more aggressive tactics could be an attempt to reclaim international attention, says activist Edward Yiu.
“For such a small city trying to fight against an authoritarian regime, we need international support… which probably can explain why in the past four days protesters in Hong Kong insist to have a stronger say and would like to have more severe actions to as to arouse international concern,” said Yiu.
Even with the more aggressive tactics, polls suggest the protesters still have widespread public support. But the violence isn’t without critics.
“Demanding five things or we will burn down your railway stations on a regular basis is not going to end happily anywhere in the world," said Steve Vickers, the former head of the Royal Hong Kong Police Criminal Intelligence Bureau. “This movement has come off the rails and is really out of control. And the violent element, the sharp end of it, is really destroying the message that the rest of them had established through large demonstrations, which were peaceful,” he added.
But many argue peaceful protests aren’t working. And with China’s authoritarian Communist Party closing in, many protesters have decided they won’t give in without a fight.
The problem is only made worse by Hong Kong’s inaction, says former lawmaker Emily Lau.
“We are calling on everybody to calm down, to dial down, to de-escalate. But to do that, the Hong Kong government has to give something. You cannot just tell them - you protesters, go home, we are not going to give you anything. Crazy! Look at the way things are! They are not going to react!” said Lau.
Meanwhile, both sides seem to be turning more violent, with no solution in sight.