China to ‘perfect’ choosing Hong Kong leader as Guy Fawkes protesters rally

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The Chinese Communist Party stated it could “perfect” the system for choosing the leader of Hong Kong after months of road protests demanding democracy for the previous British colony and denouncing what critics see as Chinese meddling.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a information convention forward of a Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce dinner in Shanghai, China November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/Pool

The social gathering stated in an announcement it could assist its “special administrative region” of Hong Kong, which returned to China in 1997, and never tolerate any “separatist behavior” both there or in neighboring Macau, an ex-Portuguese colony that was handed again to Chinese rule two years later.

Some protesters in Hong Kong have known as for independence in generally violent unrest, a crimson line for Beijing. China denies meddling.

As the social gathering assertion was launched by Xinhua information company, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam stated she had held a brief assembly with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Shanghai.

“He expressed care and concern about Hong Kong, especially given the social disturbances that we have seen in the last five months and he expressed support for the various action taken by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government,” she instructed reporters.

Referring to the inspiration of the 1997 deal underneath which Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule, Lam stated: “…In strict accordance with the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ (we will continue) upholding the rule of law and trying to put an end to the violence.”

The “one country, two systems” system ensures Hong Kong’s freedoms, together with an unbiased judicial system, for 50 years.

Lam denied extensively reported rumors that her authorities was contemplating an amnesty for protesters charged with offences, one of many calls for of the protesters. “In simple terms, it will not happen,” she stated.


After gatecrashing fancy-dress Halloween festivities on Oct. 31, just a few hundred Hong Kong protesters marked Guy Fawkes Day on Tuesday within the Tsim Sha Tsui vacationer district of Kowloon by carrying the white, smiling Guy Fawkes masks made widespread by anti-establishment hackers, the movie “V for Vendetta” and protesters globally.

Guy Fawkes Day, additionally known as Bonfire Night, is well known with fireworks and bonfires each Nov. 5 in Britain, when effigies of “guys” are burnt, marking the night time in 1605 when Fawkes was arrested for a “gunpowder plot” to blow up parliament.

“We are here to tell the government that we are not afraid of them and that they should be afraid of us,” masked protester Pete, 27, stated in entrance of the large, harborfront neon Christmas decorations.

Lam banned face masks final month, invoking colonial-era emergency powers for the primary time in additional than 50 years, however protesters have largely ignored the ruling.

China’s Communist Party, in a prolonged assertion about selections reached at a key management assembly recognized as a plenum final week, stated it could enhance the nationwide safety system in Hong Kong, as properly as in Macau, although it gave no particulars.

The social gathering determined to “establish a robust legal system and enforcement mechanism to safeguard national security in the special administrative regions and support them to strengthen law enforcement”.

The social gathering will “perfect” the appointment and dismissal mechanisms for the leaders and senior officers of the 2 territories, it added, reiterating feedback from a Chinese parliament official final week. Again, no particulars got.

It will even good the system underneath which the social gathering has full jurisdictional energy over Hong Kong, in accordance with the structure, Xinhua stated.

In a nod to a few of the financial causes of the unrest, the social gathering stated it could assist Hong Kong’s financial improvement with a deal with resolving “deep-rooted” issues that have an effect on social stability.

There will even be a deal with enhancing the “patriotic spirit” of younger individuals and civil servants, the social gathering stated.

The demonstrations in Hong Kong started over a since-scrapped extradition invoice and escalated in mid-June in opposition to perceived Chinese interference. Protesters have stored up their requires common suffrage and an unbiased inquiry into alleged police brutality, amongst different calls for.

The protests, which pose the gravest problem to Xi since he got here to energy in 2012, have obtained broad assist.

The quantity of people that participate within the principally weekend rallies has dwindled from the tens of millions who participated in June, however violence and vandalism have escalated. Authorities have refused permits for a lot of current protests, making them unlawful from the outset and activists liable to be arrested.

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There have been many accidents within the protests, however no deaths. A 22-year-old scholar at a Hong Kong college who fell throughout protests on the weekend was in crucial situation on Tuesday, hospital authorities stated.

A person stabbed not less than two individuals on Sunday and bit off a part of a politician’s ear earlier than being crushed by protesters. A 48-year-old suspect has been charged with wounding.

Lam expressed her sympathies for the wounded, singling out the 22-year-old scholar.

Reporting by Twinnie Siu, Donny Kwok, Farah Master, Sharon Lam, Sarah Wu, Kate Lamb and John Geddie in Hong Kong and Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree and Nick Macfie; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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