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“The July Crisis” – For The First Time, Beijing Will Officially Respond To Hong Kong Protests

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

After stubbornly refusing to admit the increasingly more violent protests in Hong Kong for nearly two months, on Monday China’s top Hong Kong policy office will respond for the first time to escalating civil unrest that has beset the city’s government since June. The Sunday announcement came as anti-government protesters clashed with riot police outside the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong for a second consecutive weekend.

"The July Crisis" - For The First Time, Beijing Will Officially Respond To Hong Kong Protests

The latest scuffles followed a new twist last Sunday when young protesters targeted the Chinese government’s representative office in Hong Kong. A front-page article published in the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, the following day condemned the attack as “a blatant challenge to the central government’s authority.”  Meanwhile, footage of men in white shirts attacking demonstrators with batons at a railway station in Hong Kong has gone viral, leaving the city in shock.

Fast forward to this weekend when The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) under the State Council, China’s cabinet, will hold a press conference in Beijing to give “its stance and views on Hong Kong’s current situation”, the SCMP reported, citing a central government notice.

"The July Crisis" - For The First Time, Beijing Will Officially Respond To Hong Kong Protests

Riot police fire tear gas at protesters as they head towards the central government’s liaison office in Sai Ying Pun on Sunday.

It will mark the first time the HKMAO has held a press briefing on the city since Britain handed it over to China in 1997. It also suggests the Chinese leadership may have reached a decision on Hong Kong since a wave of mass protests and violent clashes over a now-shelved extradition bill began nearly two months ago. The proposed legislation, which has for now been mothballed, would have allowed the transfer of criminal suspects to jurisdictions including mainland China, where critics say there is no guarantee of a fair trial.

Meanwhile, as the Nikkei reported, with no end in sight to the unrest, Han Zheng, the seventh-ranking Politburo Standing Committee member, journeyed south to Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, adjacent to Hong Kong, to take command while communicating with Hong Kong’s top leaders. It was an unusual mission, and Han has made it “at least twice” since June, an informed source said. This suggests how grave the Hong Kong situation is. Some are calling it “the July crisis.”

"The July Crisis" - For The First Time, Beijing Will Officially Respond To Hong Kong Protests

Han Zheng has been sent to Shenzhen to coordinate responses to the Hong Kong protests.

While Chinese citizens appeared to mostly ignore the escalating events in neighboring Hong Kong for much of the duration of protests, public sentiment on the mainland towards Hong Kong has become noticeably more negative after Beijing strongly condemned protesters who defaced the national emblem and spray-painted anti-Chinese slogans on the liaison office building in Sai Ying Pun a week ago. The liaison office also stepped up security afterwards and installed a protective plastic screen in front of the emblem.

"The July Crisis" - For The First Time, Beijing Will Officially Respond To Hong Kong Protests

The national emblem on the liaison office building is seen protected by plexiglass on Sunday. Photo: AFP

On Sunday, a clash outside the liaison office – the symbol of Beijing’s official presence in the city – was more muted than the scenes of last weekend when even members of the Triads were observed, with riot police putting up a line of defense about 200 meters from the building and stopping protesters from marching towards it. As night fell, officers again unfurled black banners warning that they would use force, firing tear gas at protesters just before 7pm in an attempt to disperse them. The protesters held their line behind a wall of umbrellas and threw projectiles at the officers.

As the SCMP reports, gradually the riot police gained ground and pushed protesters further away from the liaison office, but the crowd did not disperse until well into the night.  For hours, the two sides clashed along Connaught Road and Des Voeux Road – the two main thoroughfares in the central and western area of Hong Kong Island.

The protesters threw bricks, paint bombs and bottles at police, who responded with tear gas and beanbag rounds. Some protesters set fire to a trolley loaded with cardboard and shoved it towards officers. Others were seen carrying weapons like bows and arrows. Police subdued and arrested at least a dozen protesters. By 10pm, four people were reported to have been injured.

The demonstrators had defied a police ban to march to the liaison office, one of several protests that sprang from a rally at Chater Garden in Central earlier in the day. At one point, spontaneous protests broke out along main roads on Hong Kong Island, stretching more than 6km and running through the city’s financial district Central and shopping area Causeway Bay.

The clashes followed another violent, illegal protest in the northern town of Yuen Long on Saturday, with Police arresting 13 people on Sunday morning for their parts in the Yuen Long protest, including organiser Max Chung Kin-ping. “He insisted on going to Yuen Long … which ended in a series of violent acts. Police will never condone this behaviour,” a police spokeswoman said, adding that officers had confiscated weapons including imitation firearms and metal rods.

The chaotic protests brought traffic in one of the world’s busiest districts to a standstill. Dozens of bus services had to be diverted and many shops closed. But during another day of chaos in Hong Kong, the city’s top officials – including Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor – spent Sunday at a youth summer camp at the People’s Liberation Army barracks in rural district Fanling.

"The July Crisis" - For The First Time, Beijing Will Officially Respond To Hong Kong Protests

Protesters defied a police ban on marching after a rally at Chater Garden in Central. Photo: Felix Wong

In the city center, protesters vowed they would not stop unless their demands were met. Third-year university student Aaron Yam, 20, said a key demand was to launch an “independent and fair inquiry” into police handling of the demonstrations. “The only way out for Hong Kong is to have a fair inquiry into the policing of recent protests,” he said.

Meanwhile, a group of civil servants from various government departments issued a statement saying they would organise a rally to support the protesters on Friday, estimating about 500 people would take part. It will be the first time a group of civil servants has joined the anti-government protests.

And so with all eyes now on Beijing, several mainland observers told the SCMP that the central government was unlikely to announce any measure that could resolve the crisis during its briefing.

“It’s likely the officials will reprimand advocates of Hong Kong independence … as well as express support for the Hong Kong government and its police force,” said Zhang Dinghuai, a Hong Kong policy researcher with Shenzhen University. But analysts expected major policy adjustments were likely to be taking place behind the scenes.

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  • El Mashi

    ” People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, ” The People’s Daily is the official news outlet of the Chinese Communist Party. Sad that South Front uses Imperialist language to distort reality. Shame.

    • Pavel Pavlovich

      Sometimes I wonder if half of SF writers are buffoons themselves…

      • Concrete Mike

        Could be a funny translation.

    • goingbrokes

      Mouthpiece is not a particularly loaded word, and its use here is quite correct. The only thing is that it might be seen as slightly derogatory, and in that way not entirely respectful.

  • El Mashi

    These rioters are financed by the United States government. They disrupt and destroy property, and they assault police and people. These rioters engage in treatcher, larceny, and homicide. May the full force of the law weigh heavily on these rioters and traitors.

    • occupybacon

      Probably not even Russians are that inhumane to cheer tanks running over civilians

      • Dick Von Dast’Ard

        I thought that type of thing only occurred in the Vietnam War with the Americans.

        • occupybacon

          With this low example of wataboutism you only prove the West is superior to the East

          • frankly

            Their propaganda is certainly second to none. Tanks running over civilians is trivial compared to what we did with Napalm and agent orange, worlds largest use of chemical weapons. Such an acutely intense example of humanitarian intervention.

          • Ronald

            And they have the nerve to assault Assad and Syria with their crap.
            Still to this day, America hasn’t cleaned up their mess in Vietnam.

          • 1691

            … and Yugoslavia.

          • occupybacon

            All American wars together including the atomic bombs pales when compared to China’s “Cultural Revolution” 60 million people died by the Chinese Communist Party.

            However! the difference you can’t spot is that Eastern Cultures from which you are part, are ready to mass kill their own people while Western Cultures are more likely to turn the arms against those who gave the orders.

            On short, you are more likely to kill your mother if Putin tells you to do that.

          • Concrete Mike

            No we western people are ahead because we kill eastern people.for a living.

          • occupybacon

            Yeah they pay for your vodka

      • frankly

        Yeah reminds me of Victoria Nuland serving donuts to snipers shooting civilians and police at the maiden. So morally superior.

  • Dick Von Dast’Ard

    Funny watching the UK press showing support for Hong Kong Chinese suspects avoiding being extradited to the Chinese mainland, but have no problem whatsoever if UK people (or even none UK people, stuck inside UK prisons on trumped up charges) are extradited to the U.S. or EU mainlands.

    • goingbrokes

      Spot on!

  • chet380

    The CIA/NED will not allow the protests to stop — Chinese intelligence should be able to identify the American-financed rabble-rouser leaders … grab them all and these protests will begin to wane.

    • occupybacon

      Or could it be the beginning of the end for the Chinese Communist Party?

      • Ivan Freely

        Doubt it.

      • The so-called Pro-Democracy party, which represents the protesters, has lost every election it has entered, and always by increasing margins.

        • occupybacon

          No revolution was made by the majority

      • 1691

        Not a chance however it certainly will accelerate the end of the ziomafia. Cool, hey?

  • Toronto Tonto

    This will happen in Moscow too in 2019 .

    • M9 LEAFY

      Nope, it wont, your Canadian stay in canadia not russia. G A Y boi

    • Wolfgang Wolf

      our gay ukrainian migrant still having wet Maidan dreams haha)))

  • frankly

    I love how the MSM puts these protests front and center while utterly ignoring serious on going demonstrations in the bastion of democracy France, where the main victims seem to be the police. 66 cops having committed suicide so far this year.

  • How strange that the French protests, far more violent (24 people have lost an eye, thousands injured) and long-lived, are not seen as a ‘crisis’ for France’s neoliberal government.

    I wonder why?

    • omrizkiblog

      Bcos It’s bad for tourism ya know… ☕

  • hvaiallverden

    Yeah, the entire case is 100% bogus, and we all know it, extraditing criminals and that is what this uh….. “noble” fight for uh….. freedom is about, so if I gun down my neighbor I just take the first plane to HK and have an party for the rest of my life, HK, do you idiots know how week this rethoric really is, and we all know when the Bollocks Bullshit and Crap channels are yapping and make them self seem brave to withstand the eh…. Chines, and when Clinton News Network is reporting, the idiots have already lost it, and whom is behind it is glearingly obvious.
    And the MSM whom is ignoring others, from Puerto R to France, whom is behaving much worse, but then again we all know whom owns the MSM.

    I said it a while ago, impale the rats whom did this, and was behind the instigations of this violence infront of the British and Wankeestan embasys, but you didnt, stupid move.

    HK had its days, mainland China is whoosing by, and why not just build an wall around the entire dump and lett them rot, and then they can have their freedom as much they want and learn the ugly truth, the scums behind this never cared or cares, because this is about throwing as much shit they can on the Chines, that is what this is about, nobody cares about the HKians, whom and why the f…. should we, ignorance is not an bliss HKians, its an trapp for idiots, like the even dumber Orcs in Ukraina.

    Gods speed to the bottom of the pitt.

    peace

  • Rhodium 10

    Hong Kong police are useless vs Riots…they need water cannon and more ruble bullets and gas!

  • Wolfgang Wolf

    one more time and the special status of HK will be gone forever. keep on protesting, idiots. your sponsors in UK and US will let you all alone as soon as the chinese army comes in))

  • goingbrokes

    Who benefits from this chaos? Only foreigners. So it is a fair bet that this is organised from the outside. It looks very much like the maidan protests/revolt/coup. China will have no trouble dealing with this quite effectively. What is taking time is identifying all the ringleaders.