Chinese Association of Idaho State University (CAISU)
A top Chinese official overseeing Hong Kong affairs said on Wednesday that the city was experiencing its worst crisis since the former British colony returned to China in 1997, as weeks of near daily antigovernment protests continued with little sign of easing.To get more chinese daily news com, you can visit shine news official website.
The “turmoil” in Hong Kong “has been going on for 60 days straight, getting bigger and bigger,” said the official, Zhang Xiaoming, the director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. “The violence is getting more and more intense, impacting an increasingly wide part of the society. It can be said that Hong Kong is facing the most serious situation since its return.”
Mr. Zhang spoke at the opening of a forum in Shenzhen, a mainland city next to Hong Kong, to an audience of about 500 members of the Hong Kong establishment, including representatives to China’s congress and a national consultative body.
Weeks of demonstrations reached a high point with a general strike on Monday, when protesters blocked trains and roadways. Union officials estimate 350,000 people stayed home from work, including many aviation workers, leading to more than 200 canceled flights at the Hong Kong airport.
The day ended with mass protests across the city. The police fired 800 canisters of tear gas, approaching the total of 1,000 canisters fired over the previous eight weeks.
On Tuesday, a spokesman from Mr. Zhang’s office issued the central government’s sternest condemnation to date on Hong Kong, saying that the protesters “are extremely rampant and deranged,” and that a “blow from the sword of law is waiting for them in the future.”
Mr. Zhang struck a more measured tone in his comments on Wednesday, describing the meetings as an opportunity to hear from the people of the city so “the central government can make decisions that are closer to Hong Kong society.” After his introduction, reporters were asked to leave and the meetings continued behind closed doors.
The event was the first such joint meeting of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, a mainland agency, and the Chinese government’s representative office in Hong Kong since the 2014 Umbrella Movement, when pro-democracy protesters occupied parts of the city for nearly three months.
Michael Tien, an establishment lawmaker, said he used the session to propose an independent investigation into the crisis and a full withdrawal of the extradition bill that set off the protests earlier this year, two key demands from protesters.
We need to be concerned about the future generations if we do not handle this particular incident carefully,” he said. “By that I mean a high-level committee of inquiry to look at all the background of this, not just the police but also the protesters, the allegations about foreign government involvement and where the money comes from. There are many aspects to it.”
The legislation, which the government suspended in June, would allow the extradition of suspects to mainland China. Many people feared that it would expose Hong Kong residents to a judicial system controlled by the Communist Party, and that it was another step in the erosion of civil liberties in Hong Kong.Mr. Zhang told the forum Wednesday that a full withdrawal of the bill would imply that the stated intention of preventing Hong Kong from becoming a haven for fugitives was wrong. He added that an inquiry should wait until the unrest had eased.
This week Hong Kong officials have increased their public appearances after criticism that they had largely disappeared from view, leaving riot police officers on the streets as the most prominent representatives of the government.
When Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong chief executive, spoke to reporters on Monday, it was her first news conference in two weeks. She announced that the police would begin giving daily briefings. And Mrs. Lam made an unannounced appearance Wednesday at a public market.