DThe Chinese government has once again tightened its tone towards the protest movement in Hong Kong. “I warn all criminals to misjudge the situation and confuse restraint with weakness,” said a spokesman for the Hong Kong Authority on Tuesday in Beijing. “Those who play with fire will perish in it,” he added. Nobody should underestimate China's “firm resolve” to “protect Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.”
The spokesman called Hong Kong citizens to confront the demonstrators. “We have to get up to protect our wonderful homeland,” Yang Guang said. He described the more radical part of the demonstrators as “disturbed rebels” who would “strike the sword of justice”. He accused them of “shocking violence”.
The Hong Kong police said Tuesday that there were 148 people arrested during violent protests Monday, more than any other day since demonstrations began two months ago. The arrested were between 13 and 63 years old. About a third are women, said the police spokesman. His statements confirmed that the riots on Monday reached a new level of escalation.
North Point is known as Beijing's stronghold
The police fired 800 tear gas cartridges on a single day. In the two months before, there had been a total of about 1,000. The spokesman justified this by saying that the number of violent incidents on Monday was as high as in June. Activists had besieged police stations in several parts of the city, sometimes throwing Molotov cocktails and lighting fires that had to be extinguished by the fire department. In the protest groups' Internet groups, there were calls on Tuesday to refrain from laying fires in the future so as not to jeopardize popular support.
Violence also occurred on the night of Tuesday between residents and activists. A group of white-clad men in North Point district attacked demonstrators with bamboo poles. North Point is known as the stronghold pro-Beijing forces. In the same district, a school organized a flag parade on Monday despite the summer vacation to demonstrate their loyalty to China.
According to the director, students and teachers were called back from vacation. The school responded to several cases in which activists had taken China's national flag in Hong Kong off its mast and thrown it into the sea. A campaign by Chinese state television to “protect the flag” was supported with more than eight million Internet messages.
12,000 security forces participated in the exercise
A barely veiled threat to the protest movement was released Tuesday by the Shenzhen City Police Department, located just a few miles north of Hong Kong on mainland China. The agency disseminated a video on the Internet showing policemen performing an exercise against violent demonstrators being played by extras.
They carry the identifying marks of the Hong Kong protest movement, black T-shirts and yellow construction helmets. According to the police, around 12,000 security forces participated in the exercise. It was about “to raise the morale of the troops, to practice securing the festivities (on the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic on October 1) and to maintain national political security and stability.”
(TagToTranslate) Yang Guang (t) Police (t) Protest Movement (t) Hong Kong (t) China