Chinese state media urge 'tougher line' in Hong Kong after Xinhua targeted

Clay Curtis
November 7, 2019

"The fact that President Xi met the chief executivein Shanghai underlines in fact the importance that the central. government and President Xi himself attaches to Hong Kong", Lam's second-in-command Matthew Cheung told journalists on.

Chinese state media on Monday urged authorities to take a "tougher line" against protesters in Hong Kong who vandalised state-run Xinhua news agency and other buildings at the weekend, saying the violence damaged the city's rule of law.

Beijing-appointed Lam remains in the job after denying media reports that the Chinese government was planning her removal after her administration failed to quell months of increasingly violent unrest.

Hong Kong has now entered into its 22nd weekend of protest and unrest, sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed fugitive transfers to mainland China.

Ms Lam eventually withdrew the bill, but the protests continued, with activists demanding an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality, and democratic reform.

Xi "has a high degree of confidence in the chief executive and also certainly the work of the present government and the political team, so all these are pretty reassuring to us", Cheung added.

The paper also criticized a since-revoked order by the Lands Department to require mainland banks in Hong Kong to remove protective shutters installed on their branches amid attacks from demonstrators targeting businesses linked to the mainland.

Hong Kong anti-Government protesters crowded a shopping mall in running clashes with police that saw a man with a knife slash several people and bite off part of a local politician's ear.

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China has repeatedly said it supports Lam and her government. Democratic Party lawmaker James To told reporters the knifeman had bitten off part of Chiu's ear and slashed other people.

Police said five people were taken to hospital and as of Monday two of them were in "critical condition".

The meeting follows a Financial Times report from last month that said Beijing was looking to replace the extremely beleaguered and unpopular Lam with an "interim" leader by March 2020.

She is due to hold talks Wednesday with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and join a meeting on the development of the Greater Bay Area that aims to link Hong Kong, Macao and nine other cities in southern China in a bid to create the country's answer to Silicon Valley.

It will also flawless the system under which the party has full jurisdictional power over Hong Kong, in accordance with the constitution, Xinhua said.

The widely-read Global Times tabloid on Sunday condemned the protesters' actions targeting Xinhua and called for action by Hong Kong's enforcement agencies.

Senior police official Suzette Foo said late Tuesday that the young man had reportedly fallen from an upper floor, but that it wasn't captured by security surveillance cameras.

At least 200 people were arrested and more than 70 injured over the weekend as protesters blocked roads and vandalised public facilities. This is the first meeting between the two since anti-government protests flared in June. Protesters beat the 48-year-old suspect with sticks after the attack.

More than 66 percent of 700 respondents expressed "dissatisfaction" with Lam's administration, compared with 33 percent in the same period a year ago.

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