News / Asia

    Hong Kong Protesters Warned Not to Return After Clashes Disrupt Government

    • One of three protest leaders, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming,  weeps as he announces that he and two other pro-democracy leaders will surrender to police, during a news conference, in Hong Kong, Dec. 2, 2014.
    • Photographers are seen taking pictures as Occupy Central civil disobedience founder Benny Tai (center), a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, along with the co-founders of Hong Kong's Occupy Central civil disobedience movement, called on pro-democracy activists to pull back from the city's main protest site next to government headquarters and said they will surrender to police, Hong Kong, Dec. 2, 2014.
    • Three protest leaders, from left, Chan Kin-man, Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, announce that they will surrender to police, during a news conference in Hong Kong, Dec. 2, 2014.
    • A riot policeman prevents pro-democracy protesters from getting near during clashes outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong, December 1, 2014.
    • A pro-democracy protester lifts barricade reinforcements up onto an escalator near the government headquarters in Hong Kong's Admiralty district, December 1,2014.
    • Police officers beat up protesters as they try to disperse them outside government headquarters in Hong Kong Monday, Dec. 1, 2014.
    • A pro-democracy protester blocks a riot policeman during a clash outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong, December 1, 2014.
    • Police officers clash with protesters outside government headquarters in Hong Kong, Nov. 30, 2014.
    Shannon Van Sant

    Hong Kong’s chief executive warned protesters not to return to the streets after they and police clashed late Sunday and early Monday outside government headquarters.

    The clashes occurred in central Hong Kong after hundreds of demonstrators stormed past police lines in a bid to occupy a major road in the Admiralty district.

    Hundreds of riot police armed with pepper spray and batons pushed back, injuring several protesters and arresting at least 18.

    Protesters have been demanding direct elections of the city’s leader in 2017.

    Hong Kong’s government Monday indicated it would be taking a harder line toward the protesters.

    The city’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, warned protesters from returning to the area around the government offices, saying police had been tolerant but would now take “resolute action,” suggesting that patience may have finally run out.

    Leung told reporters that some people have mistaken the Hong Kong police’s tolerance for weakness. Leung called for students to refrain from returning to the occupation sites Monday night.

    Lai Tung-kwok, Hong Kong Secretary for Security, issued a separate warning to protesters.

    "I think what happened last night, fully demonstrates that it has far, far away, gone beyond what they have declared. The police, after repeated warnings, have to take resolute actions. They have no choice, because it is their duty to restore law and order," said he.

    'Plan was a failure'

    Hong Kong Federation of Students leader Alex Chow said the protesters had intended to paralyze government headquarters, but did not succeed.

    “The plan was a failure on the whole, given that even if some places were occupied, they were cleared by the police immediately,” Chow said.

    Pa Sha, one of the protesters who demonstrated outside government offices late Sunday, said, “There were thousands of people breaking through police barricades and occupying the main road outside the chief executive’s office. And during that they faced huge amount of police attacks including using batons to hit the protesters.”

    He said many protesters wore masks and goggles to protect themselves from the police, who used pepper spray and batons to push them away from government buildings.

    Pa Sha also said the government’s response, so far, has failed to stop the demonstrations, even though there are divisions amongst protest organizers.

    “There is still a lot of energy in the people and will to fight, a will to reignite the occupation, but unfortunately the organization is very weak,” he said.

    Last week Hong Kong police arrested dozens of demonstrators and two leaders of the protests after clearing a popular protest site in the neighborhood of Mon Kok. Hong Kong has banned Joshua Wong, one of the most prominent student leaders, from returning to Mon Kok.

    Visas denied

    Meanwhile, British lawmakers called for an emergency session in parliament to discuss China’s decision to deny visas for lawmakers planning to travel to Hong Kong.

    The British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has been investigating Britain’s relations with the Hong Kong government. Members said they were interested in looking into how Chinese authorities were handling the protests.

    China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Hong Kong is the Special Autonomous Region of China and that the Chinese central government and Hong Kong government deal with relevant issues in accordance with law.

    She told reporters in Beijing Monday the lawmakers are being denied visas because China is opposed to the investigation carried out by Britain’s lower house.

    VOA's Mandarin Service contributed to this report. Some material came from Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Mark from: USA
    December 02, 2014 3:44 AM
    Looking on the cop who wears the blue shirt on the third picture!

    How he can to continue torture a person like that! Someone has beatdown on the ground.

    Is it happen in Hong Kong? Bloody hell!

    by: ng from: vancouver
    December 02, 2014 1:46 AM
    That's the exact reason why so many HK migrant seek foreign status back in the 90's. It's because government and politician are unpredictable.

    HK is always been a stepping stone for China to get access to the international stage. Now China is a integral part of the world economy, HK value is deminishing. China no longer need to grant favors to HK. Ppl might hear country like Britian or US doing lip services about the situation, but in reality, no country will try to hurt the trading relationship with China for HK or TW or any other South Asia countries. China is too big or a market to ignore, China holds many US and British bonds. China is probably one of the biggest creditor to these countries. It's a shame, but that's just the way it is.


    by: ToddT from: Los Angeles
    December 01, 2014 11:58 PM
    It would seem the protesters in HK are playing a dangerous game with very large dangerous entity. At the same time, Beijing could make some moves which would allow them to effectively do what the protesters want and ensure they save face.
    First is the initial target, getting rid of Leung. Would that I an american could so easily remove a corrupt politician. Beijing could step in on behalf of the protestors and remove Leung. Beijing could play this move as a good thing we are here to correct your mistakes, after all you elected the guy.
    Next is the election choices. Beijing merely needs to call it Vetting, the same thing US government agencies do to candidates. They can make any claim they want about what vetting is but use language that implies it is a vetting to avoid another Leung type corrupt politician. Would this satisfy now, probably not. But the mistakes being made now by protestors is moving their attack from Leung to Beijing. The PRC does not have to put up with protestors. Also, causing financial discord, interrupting business, again, if the complaint is politics, attacking other stuff just annoys and gives beijing excuses to act.
    Finally, considering every politician and bureaucrat around the world are all universally members of the same corrupt political class, it probably does not matter who Beijing puts on the ballot. Protestors are battling over an idea like democracy but the only thing they could possibly win is replacing corrupt Leung, with a slightly less but still corrupt replacement. Not much to win, for all of the risk.

    by: Carmel from: Canada
    December 01, 2014 11:30 AM
    The case in HK involves an international agreement, the UN, 2 soverign countries, the UK and the PRC, beneficaries of HK people, PRC economy, integrity of the world finance systems etc. The UN and the international court will judge. Please pray that this case will go to international tribunal soon when the Central govt of one party cannot properly interpret international law and the HK government cannot carry out an international. agreemen. HK as an international financial center is too big to fail in terms of errors and corruption being potentially being injected into the world financial system. It would also spell the beginning of an end to an eventual end of the PRC financial system as it relies on HK being its international financial center.

    by: Starberrywishes from: Canada
    December 01, 2014 10:52 AM
    What's up with people supporting these criminals? They broke the law. Wanting freedom doesn't mean you can break the law. Why is Britain making it their business? Hong Kong isn't yours, it's China's. It's been China's for years, it's part of Canton. These protesters don't believe they are Chinese anyways.
    In Response

    by: Starberrywishes from: Canada
    December 03, 2014 7:28 PM
    Wi3n, I struggled to understand what you wrote. With your atrocious grammar, I doubt you are even from New York. I don't even know where to begin with your assumptions. I have the history of Hong Kong right from my childhood. My parents were born during the British Occupation of Hong Kong, mister. Before you go around saying others are ignorant or stupid, look at yourself. The American education system doesn't even teach about you about the 1812 war or wrong doings from the government. I don't need Wiki to tell me about my ancestry by the way.
    In Response

    by: Wi3n from: New York
    December 01, 2014 11:41 PM
    Talk about ignorance....I actually wanted to tell you all about it. But given the fact that you are lazy enough to spread your stupidity instead of going to Wiki for some basic history lesson of Hong Kong just proves my effort to be worthless anyhow.
    FYI, The name Hong Kong was used before PRC used the name "China" genius. The so called PRC was built roughly 70 years ago, while Hong Kong was established with their names for more than 100 years. Just cause your big, dont mean your old, and it certainly doesnt mean that you have a wiser brian.
    In Response

    by: me from: at home
    December 01, 2014 11:41 PM
    Boston tea tax revolt in 1774 was a protest, and against the law.
    In Response

    by: me from: home
    December 01, 2014 11:34 PM
    Andyoo, it's Been legal in every democracy in the history of the world...
    In Response

    by: andyoo from: usa
    December 01, 2014 9:57 PM
    since when was protest ever legal in history?
    student protest was how the communist party get into power.
    Think about that!

    by: Wangchuk from: NY
    December 01, 2014 10:06 AM
    The Hong Kong people have the right to protest & demand genuine democracy for Hong Kong, not the fake democracy proposed by Beijing. The Basic Law guarantees universal suffrage & HK's autonomy. Beijing is in violation of the Basic Law and the proposal to restrict & control HK's democratic process is illegal. The HK Govt should back the HK people, not the CCP.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    December 01, 2014 9:41 AM
    COULD IT BE that China saw what happened in Ferguson Missouri when the US government law enforcement took a hands off approach to the protesters that led to riots causing violence, looting, fire-bombings, and destruction of property, [and then decided], that American riots were another thing China didn't need or want?.....

    [China doesn't need the advice or condemnation from America, when they still have the protester riots going on in American cities, do they?]..... [proving once again, that America doesn't know how to handle the protesting rioters?]..... [and when force was applied in Ferguson Missouri, the riots subsided?]..... [did China learn from Americas handling of the riots?]..... [China copies everything America makes or does, don't they?].
    In Response

    by: Wangchuk from: NY
    December 01, 2014 10:11 AM
    What does this comment have to do w/ Hong Kong & the right of HK citizens to protest or demand the democracy that is guaranteed under the Basic Law? There are many other news sites about Ferguson, so perhaps "Bill from the USA" should post his comment in a more relevant forum.

    by: Kwon choelmin from: s.Korea
    December 01, 2014 8:41 AM
    I hope these people stay safe. Also I agree their fight. they have right to choose their future by them self. I wish china government make wise choice...

    by: Fiji Expert from: Fiji
    December 01, 2014 6:28 AM
    if it closes down the government it is definitively a scary situation.hope the people stay safe


    by: George Haney from: USA
    December 01, 2014 6:21 AM
    In 're to "why do they have a parliament?"comment. Leaders learned many centuries ago...give the masses the illusion of participation in rule and they will let you do ANYTHING
    Comments page of 2
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