China says it opposes any foreign interference in the election-protests in Hong Kong. The pro-democracy demonstrators say are upset that their options are limited to a selected pool of candidates.
China’s foreign ministry is rejecting U.S. criticism, says the protests are illegal, and supports Hong Kong government’s “ability to handle the situation in accordance with the law.”
“I’d like to reiterate that Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong, which is a special administrative region of China. Hong Kong affairs fully fall within China’s domestic affairs. We hope that relevant countries can be prudent in their words and deeds, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Hong Kong in any way, stay away from supporting the illegal acts such as “Occupy Central”, and do not send out wrong signals,” said Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
The protests have disrupted traffic. Many schools and banks are closed.
At a press conference Sunday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying also urged the public to engage in rational discussion on political reform, and said the SAR government is resolute in opposing unlawful actions by Occupy Central. “The police shall continue to handle the situation in accordance with the law,” he said.
Protesters on Sunday evening spilled out onto some of Hong Kong’s busiest streets in the Central and Admiralty districts, paralyzing traffic.
Violent clashes have injured six police officers, according to Hong Kong police.
According to Radio Television Hong Kong, the city’s Hospital Authority said as of 9:45 pm Sunday, 26 people had been hospitalized due to the clashes, without identifying them.
Police said they were forced to escalate their action after several warnings and used pepper spray and tear gas to disperse activists intent on forcing their way past police cordons.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in August adopted a legal framework for ways to elect Hong Kong’s top leader by universal suffrage in 2017.
Some Hong Kong pro-democracy politicians and activists have expressed opposition to the plan for the nomination threshold as they fear it may bar them from running. They threatened to seal off the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district as they push their demands for a “genuine” democracy.
The Occupy Central protest was widely expected to begin on Wednesday, the 65th National Day, following a wave of class boycotts organized by university and secondary school students since September 22.
Over 60 people were arrested on Friday night at the student-led rally in support of the class boycotts after hundreds of protesters broke into a restricted area next to the government headquarters.
Report compiled with information from CCTV News and The Global Times.