Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


China warns of chaos if Hong Kong protests persist

02 October 2014, 23:30

Hong Kong - China warned of "chaos" and threw its weight behind Hong Kong's embattled leader in his face-off with pro-democracy protesters who have threatened to occupy government offices unless he steps down by the end of Thursday.

The People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, said in a commentary Thursday that the "central government fully trusts Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and is very satisfied with his work."

It added that it firmly supports the Hong Kong police, criticised for using tear gas and pepper spray on the protesters last weekend "to handle illegal activities in accordance with the law".

The weeklong street protests by thousands of demonstrators pressing for freer elections in Hong Kong are the biggest challenge to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997.

They oppose the Chinese government's decision in August that all candidates in an inaugural 2017 election for the territory's top post must be approved by a committee of mostly pro-Beijing local elites. They say China is reneging on its promise that the chief executive would be chosen through "universal suffrage".

Student leaders who have played a key role in organizing the protests initially wanted to meet with Leung, but after Sunday's clashes with police, they have stepped up calls for his resignation and asked that the central government in Beijing heed their demands for genuine democratic reforms.

Losing patience

Raising the stakes of the stand-off, student leaders demanded Wednesday that Leung resign by midnight on Thursday. If he doesn't, they said they would step up their actions, including occupying government buildings.

That raised the specter of another clash with police, who have been guarding various government buildings. Since Monday, the protests have been peaceful.

On Thursday morning, several dozen mostly student-age protesters were trying to block the road outside the entrance to the chief executive's office in the government complex. Police manned barricades at a nearby intersection, with protesters camped on the other side, huddling under umbrellas.

"We are not asking C.Y. to come talk to us. We are demanding he resign", said May Tang, a 21-year-old student at Lingnan University, referring to Leung. "It's too late for his government to be accountable to the people so we want a new one."

One protester disagreed with the student leaders' threat to occupy government buildings.

"Getting into a confrontation with police doesn't seem peaceful to me", said Wilson Yip, a 22-year-old recent university graduate. "If they try to force themselves inside and confront police, I don't see what kind of point that would make. It may make fewer people support the protests."

The Chinese government appeared to be losing patience. An editorial solemnly read on Wednesday evening on state TV said all Hong Kong residents should support authorities in their efforts to "deploy police enforcement decisively" and "restore the social order in Hong Kong as soon as possible".

In the commentary published on Thursday, the People's Daily said that the rule of law must be safeguarded "in order to realize the healthy development of democracy and politics in Hong Kong."

"Handling affairs without following laws, Hong Kong society will be in chaos," it warned.

The protesters, it said, had "flagrantly violated Hong Kong's law and regulations, seriously blocked traffic and disrupted social order. They have put a handful of people's political demands above the law, even hijacked the will of Hong Kong people for their personal interests."

In Washington, secretary of state John Kerry met with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and said the US supports the "highest possible degree of autonomy" in Hong Kong. He said he hopes Hong Kong authorities exercise restraint and allow the protesters to express their views peacefully.

Wang said that the protests are "China's internal affairs" and that no country would allow "illegal acts" against public order.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...